Roundup: Bruce Lehrmann, NZ axes The Project, Kyle Sandilands

Bruce Lehrmann

Southern Cross Austereo, Morry Schwartz, Meta posts 23% growth, Four Corners footage

Business of Media

Kyle Sandilands’ personal firm quietly advised Labor on its ad spend

Kyle Sandilands and his personal company, King Kyle Group, were paid to advise the NSW Labor Party where to target its radio advertising dollars before the March election, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

The top-rating Sydney FM radio host, who is on the verge of signing a new, 10-year contract with KIIS FM alongside co-host Jackie Henderson for $200 million, never disclosed the commercial relationship despite a series of on-air interviews with then-NSW Labor candidate Chris Minns and former Coalition premier Dominic Perrottet.

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Catalano and Waislitz plot takeover of Southern Cross Austereo

Antony Catalano and his billionaire backer, Alex Waislitz, are attempting to stop ARN Media’s purchase of Southern Cross Austereo, hoping instead to merge the television and radio group with their own publishing operations, report Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones and Zoe Samios.

Four media sources familiar with talks, who were not authorised to speak publicly about the matter, said Catalano and Waislitz had canvassed a potential merger of Southern Cross and Australian Community Media. If successful, it would create a regional media giant.

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Morry Schwartz returns to the frontline as CEO hunt starts

One of Australia’s most successful progressive media proprietors, Morry Schwartz, is getting back on the tools, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.

The band behind Schwartz Media’s success is breaking up, as the company’s longstanding chief executive Rebecca Costello moves to a cross-town rival.

Flying back from Venice to take up what he describes as an executive chairman role, Schwartz will soon step back into the commercial side of the media business, which has grown from a fringe intellectual publishing outfit to a mainstream independent news organisation. It’s a task that he professes not to have much interest in, but will need to pick up until he finds a replacement for Costello.

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How Bruce Lehrmann’s media interviews cost him his anonymity in Toowoomba rape case

“Let’s light some fires,” said Bruce Lehrmann in June, on the first of his two-part “bombshell” interviews on Channel Seven’s flagship Spotlight program, reports The Guardian’s Joe Hinchliffe.

“Everything needs to be out there, in the open, so people can assess this for what it is.”

On Thursday, inside the supreme court of Queensland, the fire Lehrmann lit in prime time would come back to burn him.

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Meta posts 23% growth as ads rebound, with profit more than doubling

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, spent the past two years weathering a slump in digital advertising and cutting costs. This year, he proclaimed, would be a “year of efficiency” for his company, reports The New York Times’ Mike Isaac.

Some fruits of those labors are now beginning to show.

Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, reported on Wednesday that revenue rose 23 percent to $34.15 billion in the third quarter, above Wall Street estimates of $33.6 billion, according to data compiled by FactSet. Profit was $11.6 billion, more than double the $4.4 billion from a year earlier.

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News Brands

ABC provides WA Police with protest footage

The ABC have provided WA police with footage of climate activists protesting the Burrup Peninsula gas project from Four Corners, after investigators demanded the ABC breach the confidentiality of its sources and provide the unedited video, reports The Australian’s James Dowling.

The Four Corners special, titled Escalation, aired on October 9 and highlighted the clashing interests of gas project officials, state government politicians and climate activists over the WA gas project.

The footage in question shows the arrest of activists outside the home of energy executive Meg O’Neill, who heads the operations of Woodside Energy in WA.

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NZ to axe local edition of The Project

The New Zealand edition of The Project is set to fold by the end of the year, ending a six year run on Warner Bros. Discovery broadcaster Three, reports TV Tonight.

A Warner Bros. Discovery spokesperson said: “We have commenced consultation to discontinue The Project on Three from the end of the year – our primary focus is to support our people as we work through this process.”

The show which employs around 24 people, did not screen last night, giving staff time to digest the news.

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