Roundup: Clarion awards, Tracy Grimshaw replacement?, Neighbours

Tracy Grimshaw

Lachlan Murdoch, News Corp remerger, Peter Gleeson, Hotglue, Amplify, M&C Saatchi

Business of Media

Lachlan Murdoch touches down in Sydney

News Corp co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch arrived in Sydney on Tuesday night on his private jet after a visit to Qatar, where the soccer World Cup is being played, reports Nine Publishing’s Edmund Tadros

During his visit to Qatar’s capital, Doha, Murdoch opened an entertainment venue, the Fox Sports Plaza, at the Al Udeid Air Base. The venue was described in a Fox News report as “a gift from Fox to US service members”.

The plaza will provide recreational facilities for US service personnel at the military base, which also houses members of the Qatar Emiri Air Force and other foreign forces.

His visit comes as two of the major mastheads within News Corp look likely to undergo their biggest editorial reshuffles in years.

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Major Fox shareholder opposes potential News Corp. remerger

Key Fox and News Corp. shareholder Independent Franchise Partners has come out against a plan by Rupert Murdoch to recombine the two companies, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Etan Vlessing.

Last month, Fox and News Corp said they had formed a special committee to explore a combination that would reunite Murdoch’s media empire. A representative for IFP confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter the approach by the London-based investment firm to Fox and News Corp.

Their opposition was first reported on by the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Murdoch has a controlling stake in Fox, while IFP as a key shareholder has a 7.7 percent stake and another 7 percent stake in News Corp.

The Wall Street Journal said IFP approached News Corp.’s boardroom to argue any potential recombination of Fox and News Corp. would not secure full shareholder value of both companies, and that any merger should include the sale of key assets at News Corp. as part of any strategic alternatives.

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MEAA to review standards for Clarion media awards after Walkley Foundation rescinds its award

State-based media awards across the country will be part of a comprehensive review commissioned after the Walkley Foundation rescinded an award for a report into the alleged misconduct by former federal Liberal MP Andrew Laming, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance on Thursday announced that it will be conducting a review into the awards to ensure appropriate standards – which have been implemented for years – are being met and whether they need updating.

The announcement comes just one day after the Walkley Foundation made the decision for the first time in its 67-year history to rescind a Walkley given in February in the television/video news reporting category to Nine Entertainment’s Peter Fegan and Rebeka Powell for their stories on Dr Laming.

The MEAA said the state-based awards, which are held in Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, need to undergo an urgent review.

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Courier-Mail columnist Peter Gleeson caught out plagiarising for third time

The Courier-Mail columnist and Sky News host Peter Gleeson has been caught out plagiarising for the third time this month, filling almost half his column with the unattributed reporting of a regional ABC journalist, report The Guardian’s Joe Hinchliffe and Amanda Meade.

The plagiarism was identified by Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission (AFMRC), who have been trawling through Gleeson’s work since he was caught out twice this month for similar offences – including by Guardian Australia, which revealed he filled 62% of an article with copy from a Queensland parliament factsheet.

In the latest example, discovered in a “Gleeso Confidential” column from March, the former editor of the Sunday Mail told the moving story of Chinchilla woman Yvette Bracefield, who was “forced to give birth on the side of a regional highway”.

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Hotglue is appointed as strategic media agency partner of Sorbent

Hotglue has announced it has been appointed as the official strategic media agency partner of Sorbent, one of Australia’s most well-known and trusted brands.

The new client for the independent media, social and content production agency comes as its team has expanded to more than 50 staff in recent months due to its progressive culture and continued business growth.

Citra Yunika Sihotang, senior brand manager of Sorbent Paper Company, said: “We are thrilled and excited to be partnering with the highly experienced team at Hotglue to reinvigorate and elevate the much-loved Sorbent brand in Australia.”

Lewis Hearn, co-founder of Hotglue, commented: “It’s a privilege to be appointed to the Sorbent business and work with such an iconic and trusted brand.

“The Sorbent team have clear ambitions to re-connect and significantly grow the brand in Australia to become the nation’s number one choice for toilet paper and we look forward to playing a key role in that journey,” he added.

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Amplify is appointed by Polestar to showcase the future of electric mobility across Australia

Amplify has announced it has been appointed by Polestar, the Swedish electric performance car brand, to help preview the future of electric mobility at a series of events across Australia.

Responsible for the delivery of the ‘Polestar electric roadster concept On Tour’ to mark the arrival of the Polestar electric roadster concept vehicle, Amplify has led all creative and production elements, including location sourcing, design, build and lighting of the space.

The global creative agency has also been responsible for visually presenting the broader Polestar sustainability story through an exhibition within each studio location. This marks the first time the Polestar electric roadster concept has been on Australian soil, and it is part of a global tour.

The events being held in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney are both a celebration of sustainability and a window into a better tomorrow.

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M&C Saatchi promotes Michael McEwan to CEO of Australia and New Zealand

M&C Saatchi has promoted Michael McEwan as CEO of Australia and New Zealand.

McEwan’s promotion to the role reflects the development of a new national structure that enables greater client accessibility to M&C Saatchi’s deep and diverse talent pool. 

McEwan joined M&C Saatchi Melbourne as managing director in late 2019 and has led the agency through a significant phase of business and creative growth, expanding the client portfolio to include the Victorian Government, Origin and World Vision Australia.

In March 2021, McEwan and Sian Cook were appointed as joint national managing directors. Cook will soon be relocating to the UK and continue to have a consultancy role in the business.

With over 25 years of experience, McEwan has worked with some of the world’s most progressive brands locally and internationally. An impact leader, the consistent theme of his career has been his focus on spotting talent and building exceptional teams, enabling people to come together to achieve outstanding results for clients, the agency and themselves.

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Claim Tracy Grimshaw’s replacement leaked by Kyle Sandilands on radio

Shock jock Kyle Sandilands has revealed how he found out who will be allegedly taking over from Tracy Grimshaw on A Current Affair – and it could now put him off-side with Karl Stefanovic, reports News Corp.

During Wednesday’s episode of The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Kyle interviewed Grimshaw about her departure from the program and the rumours surrounding her replacement.

“Every person who has been speculated about is an exemplary person,” Grimshaw said.

Sandilands then revealed Stefanovic asked him for advice about who should join him on the Today show, indicating rumours about Allison Langdon taking over from Grimshaw were true.

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Report: Neighbours to air hundreds of new episodes after shock return deal

Neighbours‘ future will be secure for at least two years following its surprise revival, reports Digital Spy’s Daniel Kilkelly.

The popular soap will return to screens next year with a new home for UK viewers on the free streaming service Amazon Freevee. Network 10 will retain the first-run rights for new episodes in Australia.

Ever since the news was announced last week, speculation has been rife in the media and among fans over the form that Neighbours‘ next chapter will take.

However, a source has now exclusively told Digital Spy that hundreds of new episodes will be made when the show goes back into production next year.

An insider said: “The plan is for Neighbours to keep its format as a high-volume daily soap opera, so it’ll still be the show that fans know and love.

“Plans are being made for two new seasons, which will run for 200 episodes each. It’s an incredible result for fans, who thought they’d seen the last of the show when the finale aired in July.

“The logic for Freevee is that daily episode drops will keep fans checking back on the streaming service and engage with other content available.”

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