Roundup: Carrie farewells The Project, Vale Christine McVie, Spotify’s top podcasts

Carrie Bickmore

Lachlan Murdoch v Crikey, Twitter, Livewire, CNN, You Can’t Ask That, Spicks & Specks

Business of Media

Lachlan Murdoch alleges Crikey hired marketing firm to turn legal threat into subscription drive

Crikey hired a marketing company to capitalise on a legal threat from Lachlan Murdoch in order to drive subscriptions, the co-chair of News Corporation has alleged in the federal court, reports The Guardian’s Amanda Meade.

Murdoch launched defamation proceedings in August against the independent news site over an article published in June that named the Murdoch family as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the US Capitol attack. The trial has been set down for March 2023 but the parties are in dispute over pretrial matters.

One of the matters heard by justice Michael Wigney in a brief hearing was an allegation by the Murdoch team that a marketing campaign, run by brand strategists Populares, undermines the public interest defence on which Crikey publisher Private Media was relying.

In response to a concerns letter from Murdoch in June, Crikey initially agreed to take down the article but after failing to reach agreement it was reinstated on 15 August.

Sue Chrysanthou SC, for Murdoch, said she intends to show that republication of the article was not for public interest reasons but for a marketing campaign.

She said Populares produced a “significant report” titled “Lachlan Murdoch Campaign” about how “a dispute with my client could be marketed for the purposes of attracting new readers and gaining subscriptions”.

“The purpose of the re-posting was not for the public interest, it was for the media campaign,” she said.

[Read More]

Judge tells Lachlan Murdoch’s legal team to ‘forget’ some legal argument against Crikey

The timeline for Lachlan Murdoch‘s defamation case against online publication Crikey could blow out after his lawyers sought almost 200 questions be answered by the publisher before the trial gets underway, reports the ABC’s Greta Stonehouse.

The Fox Corporation CEO is suing Private Media, which owns Crikey, over an analysis article published in June, about hearings into the deadly January 2021 insurrection on the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters.

Barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC argued in a case management hearing today that the online website needed to respond to 180 interrogatories, or formal questions, put to them.

Justice Michael Wigney urged Chrysanthou to reconsider.

“Do you want to go to trial in March?” Justice Wigney repeatedly asked.

“(If) anything is in dispute … forget about it,” he said, referring to the issues Crikey’s lawyers had with the orders being sought.

[Read More]

Concern as Twitter stops enforcing policy against Covid-19 misinformation

Twitter will no longer enforce its policy against Covid-19 misinformation, raising concerns among public health experts that the change could have serious consequences if it discourages vaccination and other efforts to combat the still-spreading virus, reports Associated Press.

Eagle-eyed users spotted the change on Monday night, noting that a one-sentence update had been made to Twitter’s online rules: “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy.”

By Tuesday, some Twitter accounts were testing the new boundaries and celebrating the platform’s hands-off approach, which comes after Twitter was bought by Elon Musk.

“This policy was used to silence people across the world who questioned the media narrative surrounding the virus and treatment options,” tweeted Dr Simone Gold, a physician and leading purveyor of Covid-19 misinformation. “A win for free speech and medical freedom!”

[Read More]


Livewire partners with VADR Media’s Checkmate to reach global chess community

Australian-founded gaming marketing and gametech company, Livewire has announced a new partnership with VADR Media’s Checkmate.

Checkmate is an online competitive chess platform that focuses on producing and broadcasting online tournaments for an estimated 700 million active online chess players around the world.

Livewire will act as part of Checkmate’s commercial arm to represent its online and broadcast assets to brands and agencies, and will enable Checkmate to leverage its proprietary game-tech stack to create programmatic in-game advertising and custom brand integration solutions.

See also: Livewire announces new executive appointments to support global expansion

Following pandemic lockdowns and the release of Netflix’s hit mini-series The Queen’s Gambit (2020), the popularity of chess has increased significantly, particularly amongst females. Adding to the growth of traditional esports, its ability to conduct international competitions remotely without lag creates a platform for brands to advertise to a highly engaged user base.

[Read More]

News Brands

Layoffs hit CNN as cost-cutting pressure mounts

CNN on Wednesday began a long-awaited series of job cuts, as the network’s parent company looks to reduce spending amid pressure from investors, reports The New York Times’ Benjamin Mullin.

In a memo to employees, the network’s chairman Chris Licht said that some people, primarily paid contributors, would be notified of the cuts on Wednesday. Others will be notified on Thursday, Licht wrote, with additional details to follow that day.

“It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many,” Licht wrote in the memo, which was seen by The New York Times. “I recently described this process as a gut punch, because I know that is how it feels for all of us.”

The cuts come as CNN lags behind its chief competitors, Fox News and MSNBC, in total viewership this year, according to Nielsen data. It has notched some wins over MSNBC with viewers in the coveted advertiser demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds, but the sagging ratings overall have affected CNN’s profitability this year.

[Read More]


Joe Rogan, Alex Cooper and Emma Chamberlain top Spotify’s most popular podcasts list

Holiday season is upon us, and with that comes the arrival of Spotify Wrapped, the audio giant’s annual data bonanza that honors the most-streamed artists and packages users’ listening habits into fun graphics to laugh and cringe at, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan.

This year’s Wrapped, which analyzed listener data between January 1 and November 26, saw the return of The Joe Rogan Experience and Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy — both of which are exclusively licensed to Spotify — as the first and second most popular podcasts around the world, respectively. Newcomer Emma Chamberlain, whose podcast Anything Goes will become exclusive to Spotify beginning next year, took over the No. 3 spot on the global podcast list, followed by the Spotify Original series Caso 63, which was recently adapted into English with Oscar Isaac and Julianne Moore. Rounding out the global podcast list was Ashley Flowers’ Crime Junkie, which was the third most popular podcast on the U.S. list.

The audio giant also gave a nod to the podcasts that had the highest first-week streams at launch in the U.S. The list was led by Meghan Markle’s Archetypes, followed by David S. Goyer’s Batman Unburied; Kim Kardashian’s The System: The Case of Kevin Keit; Case 63, the English adaptation of Caso 63; and Back to the Beach, a Laguna Beach rewatch podcast hosted by Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti.

And even though Spotify just launched its audiobooks business in September (and has subsequently been tussling with Apple over its in-app payment rules), the company said former iCarly star Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, was the most popular audiobook.

[Read More]


Fleetwood Mac star Christine McVie dies at 79

Fleetwood Mac singer Christine McVie has died, the band have announced in a statement released today, reports News Corp’s Nick Bond.

British-born McVie, 79, was the singer – and songwriter – responsible for some of the band’s most enduring hits, including Everywhere, Songbird, Say You Love Me and Little Lies.

“We were so lucky to have a life with her,” the band’s statement read.

“Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.”

A separate statement from McVie’s family revealed that she died in hospital, surrounded by her loved ones. No cause of death has yet been given.

[Read More]


Carrie Bickmore ends stint on The Project with tearful goodbye

Carrie Bickmore has bid a tearful farewell to The Project after 13 years, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Describing the hosting job as a “wild but wonderful ride” the popular Channel Ten personality said she was leaving the greatest job in the world.

“I’ve been at this Network for 17 years so it’s going to be so weird when I hand that pass back,’’ she said. “It’s been a wild but wonderful ride.”

The final episode was dubbed a Festival of Carrie with acknowledgment of her work in Beanies for Brain Cancer which has raised over $20m.

Guests included original hosts Charlie Pickering and Dave Hughes plus Rachel Corbett, Fifi Box, Kate Langbroek, Steve Price and Hamish MacDonald.

There were also video tributes from the likes of Dr Chris Brown, Julia Morris, Magda Szubanski, Natalie Imbruglia, Jimmy Barnes, Ryan Fitzgerald, Kitty Flanagan and Urzila Carlson.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined the show via video link to pay tribute.

[Read More]

You Can’t Ask That, Spicks & Specks resting in 2023

ABC interview series You Can’t Ask That is not expected to screen in 2023, one of several shows not on ABC’s Upfront list last week, reports TV Tonight.

Acting Head of Entertainment & Specialist Jennifer Collins told TV Tonight, “I believe we’re resting it. We will continue with You Can’t Ask That, but we haven’t got that on the 2023 Slate at this time.”

The series, developed by producers Kirk Docker and Aaron Smith in 2016 has become a big success for the broadcaster, praised for its candid spotlight on minorities and eclectic characters often overlooked by most broadcasters.

Also not returning next year is the even longer-running music trivia hit, Spicks & Specks.

“It will be back but we haven’t got broadcast date – it won’t be 2023.”

[Read More]

To Top