Podcast Week: The life of Rupert Murdoch, Santa Radio returns

Podcast Week: the underdogs

Tagged, Can escapism can go too far?, I’m at a Crossroad

Compiled by Jasper Baumann and Tess Connery

Documenting the life of Rupert Murdoch 

The team behind Schwartz Media’s 7am have launched a new podcast series, Rupert: The Last Mogul. The series is the first comprehensive audio documentary on the world’s most powerful media titan; Rupert Murdoch.

Hosted by Paddy Manning; award-winning journalist and author of the only biography of Lachlan Murdoch biography The Successor: The High-Stakes Life of Lachlan Murdoch, the six-part series unpacks Murdoch’s life and legacy, from Adelaide to the world.

Mediaweek spoke with Manning about telling the life story of a man with decades worth of story to tell.

rupert murdoch

Paddy Manning

When asked whether or not Murdoch’s decision to step down as chair of Fox and News Corp, Manning said that the podcast was well into production by then, but laughs that the timing “makes us look like geniuses.”

“The reality is we didn’t expect that at all. On any analysis, Rupert Murdoch has had an incredible year which started with his sworn testimony in the Dominion case, and then settlement. Also, his on-again off-again engagement with Ann Lesley Smith, and then a new love interest in Elena Zhukova

“The turmoil for him personally and professionally got a lot of editors thinking, how long can he cope with this pressure? I think there were people updating their obituaries, frankly, around the world.

“We got to work on the podcast in May. But then his decision to finally retire after 70 years makes it all the more timely.”

With so much material to work though, and with the amount of time Murdoch has been working, it was no small task to whittle down the podcast into six episodes. Manning said that the overall goal for the series was to break down Murdoch’s life and legacy, bringing it to a new generation of people. 

“There’s never been a proper podcast done about Rupert Murdoch’s life and legacy. There’s an audience that doesn’t know Rupert’s whole story – although he’s arguably been the biggest story in media for more than 50 years, for a younger listener, there might be a lot that they don’t know. For example, the young left-wing Rupert Murdoch, who inherited the Adelaide News and turned it into the most ‘small l’ liberal newspaper in the country. 

If you start looking at Rupert’s early career, it’s a very different picture than what we know today as the conservative proprietor of Fox News. It’s an incredible story, and it was an exercise in compression to try and fit it into a six part podcast.”

rupert murdoch

For those who may not know the depths of the Rupert Murdoch story, Manning said that he hopes listeners get an appreciation for just how significant his impact has been – both on Australia and the world. “We’re never going to see an Australian who has so much influence ever again,” Manning said.

“We’ve called it Rupert: The Last Mogul because with today’s technology and disruption, it’s hard to see anyone building what Rupert did – a global media empire that, at its peak in the early 2000s, reached three-quarters of the world’s population and spanned five continents. 

Prime Ministers, if they’re lucky, get 10 years, most of them probably three to five. Rupert Murdoch has had unprecedented power and influence for decades. It’s just hard to imagine an Australian achieving that level of global impact in the media ever again, because the media is fragmenting and pay TV and newspapers remain structurally challenged by cord-cutting and the internet.”

Although it may be easy to write off Murdoch’s stepping down as the end of an era, Manning makes one thing very clear: “Rupert’s story is not over yet.”

“Although he’s retired, we’ve just seen headlines this week about News Corp still lining up to buy Spectator in the UK. And there’s probably still more deals to come. 

“We’ve tried to focus on who he is as revealed through the relationships with the people closest to him, and how he’s used the power that he’s created over the course of his decades. We’re looking at who this character is, and what his legacy will be.”

[Listen to Rupert: The Last Mogul here]

AFLW players Sarah Hosking and Ruby Schleicher launch their new podcast, “Tagged”

Tagged is the new vodcast from Richmond and Collingwood players Sarah Hosking and Ruby Schleicher.

Each week will feature segments such as the Tagged list, with their weekly food and entertainment recommendations, and their DM Sesh for deep chats about close to anything, including social issues and hot takes.

Hosking said: “I love getting behind the mic with Ruby and creating this new show.”

“We talk footy, of course, and get all the inside goss from the league and teams for our audience, but we also both love chatting about food, reality TV, entertainment, pop culture and generally what’s happening in our worlds.

“We hope people love listening and watching as much as we love recording the show.”

Schleicher said: “I’ve always wanted to create a podcast, so to have the opportunity to team up with Hosko is a dream result,” Schleicher said. “We’re good friends and always make each other laugh.

“Having the freedom to show our personalities and chat about so many different topics is a lot of fun and we’ve loved creating the first episodes. We hope everyone gets a kick out of it!”

[Listen to Tagged here]

LiSTNR’s Santa Radio returning for Christmas 2023

LiSTNR’s Santa Radio has returned for Christmas 2023; officially opening the phone lines for Santa Radio’s Christmas Hotline and playing the most popular festive tunes.

Santa Radio is a 24/7 station playing Christmas tunes featuring Michael Bublé, Mariah Carey, U2, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Bon Jovi and more.

For its fourth year, Santa Radio has opened its direct phone line to the North Pole and Santa. By dialling 1300 223 374, callers can let Santa know what’s exactly on their wish list. 

Top eight songs on Santa Radio in 2022:

• Michael Bublé – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
• Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
• Paul Kelly – How To Make Gravy
• Ariana Grande – Santa Tell Me
• Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas
• Wham! – Last Christmas
• Kelly Clarkson – Underneath The Tree
• Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

[Listen to Santa Radio here]

Monash’s new “What Happens Next?” podcast asks if escapism can go too far

Monash University’s new podcast, What Happens Next? focuses on the drawbacks and benefits of escapism. 

Hosted by Monash academic and public commentator Dr Susan Carland, the episodes explore concepts such as pseudo-nostalgia, live-action role-play (LARP), video games, reality television and even drug addiction.

The series investigates the profound power of escapism, the line between fiction and reality and the balance between indulgence and addiction.

Dr Carland’s guest experts bring diverse perspectives to the discussion. Monash Business School Associate Professor Davide Orazi, a leading researcher interested in how escapism can affect consumer behaviours, offers insights into how these activities provide an essential respite from the monotony of everyday life, and how they can even contribute to personal growth and well-being.

[Listen to What Happens Next? here]

Students from the Australian Film Television and Radio School launch, “I’m at a Crossroad”

I’m at a Crossroad is a documentary podcast about life’s ultimate plot twists, exploring the crucial decisions that shape who people are. 

The six-episode season features stories from guests who left a cult, joined the army, or had a near-death experience that prompted a change in identity.

Featured in the program is Dr Catherine Kizana, who tells the story of when she admitted herself to a psychiatric unit for post-natal anxiety. “I found it great and therapeutic to tell my story,” Catherine says. “The gift is whenever you tell your story from beginning to end, you get to integrate it more and process it. Hopefully, sharing my story helps someone else and takes some of the stigma away from post-natal anxiety.”

The first two episodes will be released on November 2 on all podcast platforms.

[Listen to I’m at a Crossroad here]

Podcast Week: The Children in the Pictures

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