Mediaweek roundup: U2, Bauer Media, Network 10 + more

• David Leyonhjelm, SA Press Club Awards, Comedy Festival, Foxtel TV rights + cricket

Business of Media

Bauer Media reviewing staff levels ahead of Pacific merger

Bauer Media is identifying which staff to lay off following the German family-owned media group’s merger with arch rival Pacific Magazines, from the Kerry Stokes-controlled Seven West Media, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

The $40m deal, which was announced last month, will bring several dozen glossy magazines, including New Idea, Australian Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day, under one roof if Australia’s competition regulator gives the green light next month.

There will be duplication in many roles, particularly back office, and some editorial roles once the marriage is sealed, and it is understood Bauer is “starting to define the roles post-merger”.

In its statement to the ASX on October 21, Seven said the sale was expected to be completed by the end of the year, subject to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s approval.

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News Brands

Sarah Hanson-Young wins defamation case against David Leyonhjelm

Former senator David Leyonhjelm has been ordered to pay Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young $120,000 over defamatory comments he made suggesting she was a misandrist and a hypocrite, reports ABC News’ Claire Campbell.

The Federal Court previously heard that at the conclusion of a Senate vote in June 2018, Leyonhjelm told Senator Hanson-Young that she should “stop shagging men”.

In a media statement, Leyonhjelm claimed he had made the comment in response to an interjection by Senator Hanson-Young along the lines of “all men are rapists”.

However, Justice Richard White found Senator Hanson-Young did not speak those words.

“Instead, it is likely that the respondent ‘heard’ that which he was predisposed to hear by reason of his pre-existing opinion of the applicant as someone who made ‘collectivist’ statements,” Justice White said.

Senator Hanson-Young said she was “pleased with the court’s decision”.

“When men do the wrong thing, they should apologise. Most men do. But when they don’t they should be called out,” she said.

“It’s for every woman and girl who’s been told or made to stay silent in the face of harassment and disrespect that I took legal action.”

The matter will return to court in December to discuss who will pay the legal costs.

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Channel 10 in court over Dylan Hafertepen defamation claim

A sex fetish master whose “pup” died after silicone was injected into his scrotum is suing Network 10 over a report his lawyer argues portrayed him as a murderer, reports AAP in an item published in The Daily Telegraph.

The November 2018 report on The Project centred on the death of Melbourne man Jack Chapman who had been in a relationship with United States man Dylan Hafertepen before succumbing to multiple respiratory issues and silicon injection syndrome.

The TV report featured Hafertepen being invited to the home of Mr Chapman’s mother, Linda Chapman, and being covertly recorded as she told him he was “wholly and solely responsible for my son’s death”.

The network sought two extra weeks to file its defence. It said lawyers were busy, producers and the journalist involved – Hamish Macdonald– needed to be interviewed and evidence re-examined to see if it had changed. The court was told Chapman was suing Hafertepen in the US for wrongful death and documents from that case would be sought.

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Network 10 a winner at the 2019 SA Press Club Awards

Network 10 has been awarded Best Television News Report and Best Television News Camera at the 2019 SA Press Club Awards last weekend.

The awards ceremony, which was presented at Hotel Grand Chancellor on Hindley, delivered two wins and three commendations amongst 11 finalists for 10 News First Adelaide.

10 News First journalist Kate Somers was awarded Best Television News Report for her outstanding coverage of the arrest of an organised gang of shoplifters at Adelaide’s Burnside Village. With exclusive footage and interviews adding to the unmatched coverage, the story has since had more than one million views online.

Kate Somers

Kate Somers

Best Television News Camera was presented to 10 News First’s Matt Bonser for his exceptional images of the new tourism enterprises around Uluru since the climb’s closure. Utilising three different types of cameras and multiple shooting techniques to best capture the story, he was widely praised by industry peers.

Matt Bonser

Matt Bonser

Marcel De Rooy was highly commended in the same category for his sensational camera work on a city escape. During a manhunt, Marcel found the hidden fugitive and stayed with him until police arrived, rolling the whole time in a courageous piece of camera work.

Reporter Chloe Bouras received a commendation in Best Television News Report for her sensitive reporting of the Flinders Medical Centre “ramping” disaster, which saw patients waiting for urgent medical attention in the back of ambulance vehicles.

Chloe. Bouras

Chloe Bouras

Chloe was also one of the finalists in the highly-coveted category of Young Journalist of the Year, assessed by industry veterans and senior representatives across television and print media.

Up against the country’s finest newspaper and television headline writers, multi-nominated producer Christie Peucker received a commendation for her unique take on headline writing for three pieces of work.

Adelaide’s 10 News First executive editor Fiona Clark said: “The 10 News First entries recognised this year by the South Australian Press Club represent hard work, innovation, and improvisation. They also represent the attitude displayed by the staff in the Adelaide newsroom year-round, and I could not be more proud.”


U2 to present Best Group at the ARIA Awards in live cross from Perth

There will be boosted bragging rights for whichever act wins the ARIA for Best Group this year with U2 booked to present the gong, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.

It will be the world’s biggest group’s final night in Australia, performing their last show on the triumphant Joshua Tree tour in Perth.

They will cross live via video to present the aware to the winner with 5 Seconds Of Summer, Birds Of Tokyo, Hilltop Hoods, RÜFÜS DU SOL and The Teskey Brothers nominated for the 2019 Best Group award.

U2 were an obvious choice to present the award as they hold the record for the most ARIA No. 1 albums by a group, having reached the chart summit 11 times.

Bono last featured at the ARIAs in 2006 when he made an impassioned speech to induct his friends Midnight Oil to the ARIA Hall of Fame.

The international presence at the Australian equivalent of the Grammys is significant this year as YouTube will be streaming the ARIAs live to the world.

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Agro to make 30th birthday comeback at Comedy Festival

Mischievous puppet Agro will be up to his old tricks, fronting a special edition live show to celebrate his 30th birthday in Brisbane, reports News Corp’s Shiloh Payne.

Nineties nostalgia will be rife as Agro Up Late with Jamie Dunnkicks off in March to honour the beloved character at the Brisbane Comedy Festival.

Audiences will come face-to-face with the puppet in an adults-only journey back in time. The pair will be joined on stage by former Big Brother star Ben Zabel as the new Anne-Marie in a Q&A-style Cartoon Connection.

Agro creator Dunn puts his enduring love for the puppet down to the character’s bold personality.

“I think people love Agro’s irreverence, his cheekiness – they were simpler times and we had a lot of fun,” Dunn said.

The puppet’s popularity won Dunn seven consecutive Logie awards, which bettered any existing streak in 1997.

Agro Up Late with Jamie Dunnruns from March 17-22 at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

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Agro is also one of the presenters at the ARIA Awards on Wednesday night.

Sports Media

Rugby state chiefs in dark over Foxtel TV rights rejection

The heads of Australia’s state rugby unions have been blind­sided by a decision by the game’s national body to reject a broadcast deal from Foxtel and instead open talks with Optus, describing the move as concerning, report The Australian’s Leo Shanahan and Steve Jackson.

As revealed by The Australian on Monday, Rugby Australia does not have a TV broadcast deal with any major provider after talks between RA and Foxtel broke down during a meeting in Japan following the World Cup. RA rejected Foxtel’s offer of about $20 million as an effective “rollover” agreement on the current arrangement.

The board is now in talks with Optus to show the Rugby Championship, Super Rugby and Wallabies tours even though the telco lacks a free-to-air TV broadcasting partner and paid $50m in 2018 for three years of the English Premier League rights.

Former Nine and Seven boss David Leckie, who oversaw broadcast rights deals with both the NRL and AFL, said that the RA board overplayed its hand by demanding an “unrealistic” amount for the rights.

“I know a little bit about TV and if the rights go to Optus, it will kill the game,” he said. “If you’re an advertiser or sponsor, you’d be thinking, ‘Well, we don’t need to worry about rugby anymore’.”

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Documentary sheds light on Australian cricket’s year of drama

The devastation of Australia’s Ashes defeat at Headingley has been laid bare in a behind-the-scenes documentary that is also set to shed new light on the team’s rise from the tumult of South Africa, reports The Age’s Jon Pierik.

Cricket Australia and Australian production company Whooshka will in March release on streaming service Amazon Prime Video an eight-part documentary – The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team– that begins when Justin Langer took charge as coach of an emotionally distraught side in May last year.

Director Adrian Brown takes viewers through a dramatic year, which involved the suspensions of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for their roles in the ball-tampering saga, the struggles at home against India last summer and the rebirth through this year’s World Cup and Ashes campaigns.

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