Roundup: Alan Jones returns to Australia, Sporting broadcast deals, Questions about Darren Wick’s departure

Alan Jones

The ACCC, Meta dumps transparency tool, Southern Cross, ABC, Meghan Markle, Latrell Mitchell

Business of Media

The ACCC is asking news outlets if they can live without Facebook

The competition watchdog has asked major media groups to rate their dealings with Meta and reveal how much money they make from Facebook and Instagram, as it prepares to decide whether the tech giant should be forced to the negotiating table, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

In confidential documents sent to news outlets late on Friday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission demanded extensive details about how media outlets make money, how important social media is, and what would happen if Meta blocked all news. One publisher said a news ban would cut its revenue by 25 per cent.

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Australian government concerned as Meta dumps transparency tool CrowdTangle

The Albanese government has reinforced its deep concerns over the corporate and social behaviour of digital platforms, after Meta announced last week it was closing its own misinformation research tool, reports The Australian’s James Madden.

Over the next five months, the tech giant will gradually phase out CrowdTangle — a service used by news outlets, academic researchers, and regulators worldwide to monitor viral content and misinformation across social media — and will abandon it completely on August 14.

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Alan Jones returns to Australia, says health problems will keep him off air

Alan Jones has returned to Australia after an extended stay in London amid a string of indecent assault allegations, claiming poor health has kept him from returning to broadcasting, reports Nine Publishing’s Josefine Ganko.

In a five-minute-long video given to News Corp mastheads on Sunday evening, the 82-year-old former radio broadcaster said he had planned to resume hosting duties at his online site ADH TV in mid-February but could not due to a recent health diagnosis. He last appeared on ADH TV in November 2023.

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News Brands

More Southern Cross shareholders back removing chair Rob Murray

Almost 40 per cent of Southern Cross Austereo’s shareholders are prepared to remove the radio and television broadcaster’s chairman, Rob Murray – likely pushing him to step down from the company that owns the Triple M and Hit radio networks, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

After taking almost five months to reject rival ARN Media and Anchorage Capital Partners’ takeover offer, and lacklustre results, nearly all of Southern Cross’s major shareholders have backed a call for an extraordinary meeting to remove Murray.

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Darren Wick’s departure from Nine raises more questions than answers

Nine Entertainment news boss Darren Wick’s sudden departure has left more questions than answers, reports The Australian’s James Madden and Sophie Elsworth

The official line is that the polarising newsroom figure is “tired” and, after a few long walks on the beach in recent weeks, decided to pull the pin on his 29-year career at the network.

While rumours of his looming departure had been swirling throughout Nine’s newsrooms for weeks, Diary has been told staff were shocked by the timing of his farewell email, which was sent at 6.36pm on a Friday – traditionally, the deadest of dead news zones in media land, as Wick well knows.

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See Also: Nine’s news boss Darren Wick leaves after 29 years

The ABC loses more in the Meta v media and government standoff

In the maelstrom of war between Meta, the media and the Albanese government, spare a thought for the ABC. Of all the media outlets who could soon lose a significant chunk of (nearly) free money, the public broadcaster will likely be hit the hardest, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Sure, it gets plenty of funding from the government. But the ABC diligently took its Meta cash and hired 60 journalists, adding 10 new regional areas for coverage. Losing this revenue would “create a financial challenge” for the ABC, MD David Anderson says.

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Meghan Markle to start filming Netflix lifestyle series in quest to become next Martha Stewart

Meghan Markle is set to begin filming her new lifestyle Netflix series in the next few weeks as she continues to pursuit to become the next Martha Stewart, reports News Corp’s Caroline Blair.

Page Six has confirmed filming for the show is imminent and will tie into her newly launched lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard.

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Sports Media

Sporting codes want long-term broadcast deals to ensure certainty: Foxtel

Sporting codes are seeking long-term partnerships with broadcasters to provide certainty during the tougher economic climate, according to senior Foxtel executive Rebecca McCloy, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

McCloy, who is the Foxtel Group’s executive director of commercial (sport), said signing lengthy deals had become more commonplace in recent years.

“As the market becomes more uncertain they need more certainty in their partnerships and they want long-term partners,” she said.

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‘We encourage players to be themselves’: NRL won’t sanction Mitchell over radio profanities

The NRL will not sanction Latrell Mitchell for an expletive-laden radio interview in which he dropped five F-bombs after Thursday night’s loss to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, reports Nine Publishing’s Michael Chammas.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo phoned South Sydney chief executive Blake Solly on Saturday to arrange a meeting with Mitchell this week to discuss his concerns with his behaviour on Triple M on Thursday night.

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