Roundup: Christian Porter, Discovery-WarnerMedia, Big Brother + more

big brother

• Plus John Barilaro, REA Group, Australian Press Council, Vanessa Sierra and Dave Hughes, Nine’s Covid ad

Business of Media

Christian Porter judge tests ABC secrecy clause

The judge overseeing Christian Porter’s discontinued defamation case against the ABC has raised concerns about an agreement ­between the parties to remove confidential documents as part of a settlement, reports News Corp’s Kieran Gair.

The revelation comes as media outlets, including News Corp and Nine Entertainment, pursue ­access to the ABC’s full defence and the 27 pages that were temporarily suppressed from the Federal Court file in May.

On Tuesday, the Federal Court heard Porter and the ABC had agreed to “permanently” remove 27 pages of the broadcaster’s 37-page defence from the court file as part of the settlement.

But judge Jayne Jagot said the “integrity” of the file could be compromised if the Federal Court agreed to uphold the removal of a key part of the ABC’s proposed ­defence, redacted last month.

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John Barilaro using Christian Porter’s preferred lawyer

One high-profile defamation case has left the nation’s courts. But there’s no shortage of politicians on the lists, reports AFR’s Myriam Robin.

The very day barrister Sue Chrysanthou was barred from acting for former attorney-general Christian Porter (who withdrew his case three days later), documents filed in the NSW Registry of the Federal Court showed her acting for NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, in his long-mooted defamation case against YouTube critic Jordan Shanks and Google.

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REA takes stake in PropertyGuru business in Asia play

Digital advertising company REA Group is positioned to grow in Asian markets after striking a deal to combine its Malaysia and Thailand businesses with one-time rival PropertyGuru and take a stake in the enlarged Asian-based property platform, reports News Corp’s Ben Wilmot.

The deal will see REA swap its exposure to the two emerging markets for an interest in the broader PropertyGuru business, the market leader in South-East Asia that has been touted as a float candidate.

The combination will see REA take an 18 per cent slice in the combined platform that is strongest in Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia, where the two companies had been competitors.

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Discovery-WarnerMedia Combination Gets a Name

Discovery and AT&T’s WarnerMedia shocked the media and entertainment world with their May 17 news of a megadeal that would create a media joint venture, led by Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Now that venture has a name, reports The Hollywood Reporter‘s Georg Szalai and Alex Weprin.

During a company town hall Tuesday from the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Zaslav said that the combined company will be called Warner Bros. Discovery. The company’s slogan will include the phrase “the stuff that dreams are made of,” a reference to the iconic line from Warner’s film The Maltese Falcon.

“Warner Bros. Discovery will aspire to be the most innovative, exciting and fun place to tell stories in the world — that is what the company will be about,” Zaslav said Tuesday. 

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News Brands

Chris Pyne concedes to Press Council complaint

Christopher Pyne’s transition to talking head is almost complete, the former defence minister being the recent recipient of his first-ever rap on the knuckles from the Australian Press Council, reports AFR‘s Myriam Robin.

The complaint was lodged by pensioned-off former Croydon MP (his words) Michael Atkinson. It came to a quick resolution, the former South Australian Labor attorney-general succeeding in forcing The Advertiser to amend an article by Pyne after the now-lobbyist mentioned his current clients without any disclosure.

Alerted to the complaint, the publication folded without argument, relaying a commitment from Pyne that he “will not mention clients in future columns unless essential to his argument”, and then with full disclosures. It has also added a disclosure to the offending April column, which mentioned the Adelaide operations of Southern Launch and Saber Astronautics as proud examples of Adelaide’s clout in matters relating to defence (one is a client of Pyne’s Pyne and Partners, the other of Pyne’s GC Advisory).

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Vanessa Sierra lashes Dave Hughes over Bernard Tomic break-up claims

Dave Hughes has apologised to OnlyFans star Vanessa Sierra, after he publicly claimed she had split from her tennis star boyfriend Bernard Tomic, reports News Corp’s David Aidone
and Nadia Salemme.

Speculation that high-profile couple Sierra and Tomic had broken up began when the former Love Island contestant made a cryptic Instagram post. It prompted 2Day FM host Hughes to reach out to Sierra on Monday.

“My problem right now in talking to you (the show’s co-hosts), is the last thing she said to me is ‘this is off the record,’” Hughes said on his Sydney breakfast radio show, Hughesy, Ed and Erin.

Co-host Erin Molan responded: “Then why are we even talking about it then, you have betrayed her trust.”

Molan continued: “It doesn’t matter (that the conversation was off the record) because you’ve promised our listeners, and you’re a man of the people, you don’t let people down”.

“It’s fair to say they’ve broken up,” Hughes replied.

But on Tuesday, Hughes backtracked and took to his radio show to formally apologise to Sierra for breaking her trust.

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Channel 9 slammed for “all white” Covid vaccine ad

Channel 9 has been criticised over a new Covid-19 vaccine advertisement that features all white talent, reports News Corp’s Mibengé Nsenduluka.

The TV promo, which is designed to encourage people to get vaccinated, fell flat with viewers on Tuesday due to its lack of diversity.

Led by The Block’s Scott Cam, the advertisement titled “This is our shot” with the hashtag #GetVaccinated shows various on-air talent including Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon getting their Covid jabs and urging the public to do the same.

Other employees including Indigenous presenter Brooke Boney and Vietnamese-Australian Tracy Vo were not included in the ad.

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Degrees of fairness and Big Brother

Big Brother fans took to social media last night after the latest twist in the show which upended the eviction process and saw front-runner Jessica sent packing, reports TV Tonight.

In his latest twist, Big Brother delivered housemate Danny a secret key in which he was allowed to remove a housemate nominated for eviction.

Housemates were stunned to learn that he had helped Ari escape into a tunnel and avoid eviction entirely -despite having been formally nominated by Christina.

So why didn’t housemates revolt and cry foul? Given the show is not Live it isn’t clear whether any did just that. If Ari didn’t want to attend the eviction process and plea his case, that’s his call.

[Read More]

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