Roundup: Col Allan accused of sexual harassment, After the Verdict, Survivor + more

Col Allan

• Chicago Public Media, Caroline Jones Scholarship, Australian Geographic, André Leon Talley, Netflix, Lord of the Rings

Business of Media

Former News Corp executive Col Allan accused of sexual harassment

Former editor-in-chief of Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph – and long-time trusted Murdoch lieutenant – Col Allan has been accused of sexual harassment during his time running News Corp’s New York Post, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The newspaper’s former digital editor Michelle Gotthelf filed the lawsuit in a New York federal court on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT). She claimed the harassment continued even after Allan retired as editor-in-chief in 2016, and when he returned as a consultant who effectively supervised her. She said the Post brushed off her complaints about his behaviour.

“Any suggestion of wrongdoing related to the management changes announced today is meritless,” a spokeswoman for the New York Post and News Corp said.

Allan became editor of The Daily Telegraph in 1992, and moved to New York to run the Post in 2001.

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See Also:

Top Editor Files Discrimination Suit Against The New York Post (New York Times)

Lawsuit details claims against one of Murdoch’s ‘closest cronies’ (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Former New York Post digital chief alleges wrongful firing after privately reporting longtime Murdoch lieutenant propositioned her for sex (CNN)

News Brands

Chicago Public Media is set to acquire former News Corp Chicago daily

The hard-hitting tone of tabloid journalism and the measured voice of public radio make for an unlikely combination, but the two are coming together in a novel media deal that is likely to shape how news is covered in Chicago for years to come, reports The New York Times.

On Tuesday night, the board of Chicago Public Media, the non-profit organisation behind the non-commercial radio station WBEZ and the program “All Things Considered,” moved significantly closer to acquiring The Chicago Sun-Times, the tabloid that was once home to the film critic Roger Ebert and the columnist Mike Royko.

[At different times previous owners have included News Corp and Conrad Black’s Hollinger group.]

In a special meeting, the board voted to go forward with its planned acquisition of The Sun-Times, a deal that would make Chicago Public Media into one of the largest non-profit news organisations in the nation. It is expected to close by Jan. 31.

“This is an important step to grow and strengthen local journalism in Chicago,” Matt Moog, the chief executive of Chicago Public Media, said in a statement.

The Sun-Times, which has changed hands numerous times in recent years, is owned by a patchwork group of unions, philanthropists and business people

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ABC reveals winner of the 2022 Caroline Jones Scholarship

Isabella (Bella) Tolhurst has been named as the 2022 recipient of the ABC’s Caroline Jones Scholarship.

Created in honour of the veteran ABC journalist, the 12-month scholarship provides financial and on-the-job development for a talented young Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander journalist, working with various ABC news and current affairs teams.

Isabella Tolhurst

Bella is a proud Dyirbal woman but has lived in Naarm (Melbourne) her whole life, on Boonwurrung land. Bella recently completed her studies in Media, Communications and Politics at the University of Melbourne and is passionate about highlighting more Indigenous voices in the media.

“I am so excited and honoured to be selected as this year’s Caroline Jones Scholar,” she says. “To be provided with such an incredible opportunity to launch my career in journalism is an honour and I cannot wait to get started!

Caroline Jones said: “Congratulations to Isabella. The year ahead will be an exciting, challenging and rewarding experience for her.

“This scholarship offers splendid training for the award winner as the ABC NEWS division continues to widen opportunities for young First Nations people to become skilled in media and to be significant role models for their peers.”

Tolhurst will start the scholarship later this month with the ABC NEWS Victoria team in Melbourne.


Australian Geographic magazine appoints international rep for its travel business

Australian Geographic Travel has appointed Bryan Arnicar, owner of Unique Boutique Collection, as its representative for the UK, Europe and North America.

For over 36 years, Australian Geographic magazine has shared the essence and spirit of Australia through its stories and photography. Australian Geographic Travel was created when Australian Geographic acquired 50% of the travel company, Insight Australia Travel.

Australian Geographic Travel allows its travellers to immerse themselves in breathtaking landscapes, bird watching, hiking and active wildlife conservation projects, all whilst enjoying authentic and supportive interactions with local people and Australia’s ancient First Nations culture. Australian Geographic Travel currently offers a choice of over 30 itineraries all bookable via the Australian Geographic website.

Managing Director of Australian Geographic Travel Birgit Bourne: “Australian Geographic Travel is delighted to be working with Bryan and his team to help strengthen our international presence as we offer small group, sustainable, Australian experiences to nature and culture lovers around the globe.”

London based Bryan Arnicar added: “I am proud to be representing such an iconic brand. The Australian Geographic Travel tours allow travellers to explore while respecting and preserving the diversity and beauty of local wildlife, landscapes, culture and people. I know travellers and the travel industry across the UK, Europe and North America will be as excited as I am to learn more about these unique touring opportunities, and I look forward to being able to support them.”

Legendary US Vogue editor André Leon Talley has died aged 73

André Leon Talley, former Vogue editor and a force to be reckoned with in the world of fashion, has passed away at the age of 73, reports his former magazine.

Reports state that Talley died at a hospital in White Plains, New York. Talley’s career is inextricably entwined with Vogue, where he worked from 1983 to 2013, moving from heading the fashion news division at US Vogue to becoming its creative director, until finally becoming editor-at-large before his eventual departure from the magazine.

Talley’s first stint in fashion was working with the legendary Diana Vreeland, after which he moved to Interview magazine, which was still helmed by Andy Warhol at the time. Talley then moved on to Women’s Wear Daily, where he rose through the ranks to become Paris bureau chief.

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The Hollywood Reporter adds: Talley first joined Vogue as fashion news director in 1983, joining the same year as Anna Wintour.

Talley served as a judge on America’s Next Top Model for four seasons in 2010 and 2011 opposite Tyra Banks and photographer Nigel Barker. He also had cameo roles in Sex and the City and Empire and appeared in the fashion documentaries The September Issue and Valentino: The Last Emperor.

Talley left Vogue for good in 2013, and famously fell out with Wintour in 2018 when he was unceremoniously dropped as a red carpet interviewer at the Met Gala and replaced by YouTuber Liza Koshy. He claimed he was replaced due to his age.

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New cast joins Nine’s After the Verdict with production underway

Nine has announced additional cast joining its 2022 new drama series After the Verdict.

Michelle Lim Davidson (The Newsreader) and Tess Haubrich (Wolf Creek) join the previously announced Sullivan Stapleton (Blindspot, Animal Kingdom), Magda Szubanski (Kath & Kim, Babe) and Lincoln Younes (Grand Hotel, Doctor Doctor), with Virginia Gay (Judy and Punch), Emma Diaz (Diary of an Uber Driver), Richard Brancatisano (Harrow), Nicholas Brown (Wakefield), Hazem Shammas (Safe Harbour) and Vivienne Awosoga (Wentworth) also appearing in the series.

After The Verdict tells a story of four very different Australians who have just finished jury duty on a high-profile murder trial. As they return to normal life, they begin to question their verdict and take matters into their own hands, investigating the murder themselves as they juggle the pressures and impacts on their personal lives.

Screen Australia’s head of content Sally Caplan said, “Creators Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt have a proven track record of highly entertaining dramas and Screen Australia is pleased to support them, together with a talented creative team, on the distinctive new series After the Verdict. With an engaging storyline that showcases contemporary Australia, I’m confident it will appeal to audiences here and around the world.”

Head of Screen NSW Grainne Brunsdon said: “Screen NSW is proud to secure After the Verdict for NSW. This conceptually clever and high-production drama from the talented Subtext Pictures team is supported by Screen NSW through the Made in NSW fund and is expected to create 197 jobs for local cast and crew. I’m looking forward to seeing it on screens in 2022.”

Produced by Subtext Pictures for the 9Network, After the Verdict’s creative team includes creators, writers and executive producers, Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt (House Husbands, Dead Lucky), writer Romina Accurso (The Heights, Spreadsheet), directors Peter Salmon (Halifax: Retribution, Rake), Ben C Lucas (The Wilds, Fighting Season) and Fadia Abboud (Les Norton, Five Bedrooms), producer Jo Rooney (Jack Irish) and executive producers Greg Sitch (Fisk, The Letdown) and 9Network head of drama, Andy Ryan.

Manifesting success: Netflix brings another series back from the dead

There’s an irony to the fact that Netflix’s most recent global hit Manifest is all about second chances, given that the show has gone from trash to treasure in a matter of months, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Thomas Mitchell.

The supernatural series centres on a planeload of passengers who board Flight 828 from Jamaica to New York. At first, it seems like a regular flight, albeit featuring a brief but violent bout of turbulence. But when the plane touches down in New York, the passengers are met by baffled authorities who explain that over five years have passed while they were in the air, during which time they were presumed dead.

NBC cancelled the show shortly after Manifest’s season 3 finale, which aired on June 10, 2021. On that same day, Netflix picked up the rights to the first two seasons, and the show’s popularity skyrocketed.

Manifest didn’t drop onto Netflix here in Australia until January 1, but it has remained in the number one position since premiering.

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Australian Survivor kicked my ass physically and mentally: Sandra Diaz

Sandra Diaz is a tough woman. The first person to win Survivor twice, she’s braved the hardships of the gruelling granddaddy of US competitive reality TV four times, from Panama to Samoa to Fiji, reports Nine’s Ben Pobjie.

 In so doing, she’s proven herself not just more than capable of handling the demanding conditions of the show, but one of the best players ever of the tricky game of relationship-building and interpersonal politics that is at the heart of its enduring appeal.

But Australia still hit her with the greatest challenge she’d ever faced. “It was so hot,” she says of her experience in North Queensland filming the latest series of Australian Survivor, subtitled Blood v Water.

“I feel like Australia was my hardest location ever because the heat would actually … I would feel a burn, a sting on my skin. And then the cold at night was a cold I’d never felt before – and I’m from Connecticut, where it snows. Australian Survivor kicked my ass, physically and mentally.”

All that was on top of the altered risk-reward equation: when Diaz won her two US crowns she got $US1 million for lasting 39 days in the wilderness; to take the Australian title one must last a cruel 55 days, and at the end there’s only half a million (in Australian currency) to make it worth your while. “It’s so painful for so little!” Diaz laughs. “It wasn’t easy.”

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After Squid Game success, Netflix to release 25 Korean Originals in 2022

Buoyed by the smash success of Squid Game, Hellhound and half a dozen other shows, Netflix is predictably doubling down on Korean content in 2022. The streamer said Wednesday that it will release 25 Korean films and series this year, its largest annual slate from the country to date, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

In 2021, Netflix invested over half a billion dollars in Korean content, and this year’s slate will easily surpass that spending figure, although the company has not released a precise estimate.

The company did share a rash of numbers to explain its extreme bullishness on K-content. Netflix said global viewing hours for its Korean shows – it produced and released a total of 15 Korean originals last year – grew six-fold compared to 2019. Squid Game, of course, became Netflix’s most-watched series ever, with 95 percent of its viewership coming from outside Korea. Crucially for the streamer’s strategy, the company noted that “many of these viewers went on to explore other Korean content.”

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Amazon Prime Video reveals the full title of Lord of the Rings series, plot details

Amazon’s mysterious The Lord of the Rings TV series has revealed its title and new storyline details, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The eagerly anticipated, multi-season drama is called The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

As the name suggests, the story follows the forging of the original rings of power that allowed Sauron to spread darkness across Middle Earth.

“This is a title that we imagine could live on the spine of a book next to J.R.R. Tolkien’s other classics. The Rings of Power unites all the major stories of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men,” said showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. “Until now, audiences have only seen on-screen the story of the One Ring — but before there was one, there were many… and we’re excited to share the epic story of them all.”

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