Roundup: Cricket broadcast rights, Cheng Lei, Shane Warne

T20 World Cup Cricket

Elon Musk, Adhesive, Angie Kent, I’m a Celebrity UK

Business of Media

Elon Musk gives Twitter employees a deadline to stay or leave

Elon Musk gave Twitter employees a deadline of 5 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday to decide if they wanted to work for him, and he asked those who did not share his vision to leave their jobs, in his latest shock treatment of the social media company, reports The New York Times’ Kate Conger.

Musk made the announcement in an early-morning email to employees on Wednesday; The New York Times obtained the message, which had the subject line “A Fork in the Road.” In the note, Musk, 51, reiterated that Twitter faced a difficult road ahead and offered employees three months of severance if they did not want to continue working there “to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0.”

The billionaire has been unrelenting in rapidly transforming Twitter since completing his $44 billion acquisition of the company nearly three weeks ago. Musk swiftly slashed half of Twitter’s 7,500 person work force, dismissed thousands of contractors, fired employees who had criticized him and trimmed infrastructure costs. He has also proclaimed that Twitter needs to make more money or it faces bankruptcy. And he has pushed on subscription products and alternately wooing and insulting Twitter’s advertisers.

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Australian TV presenter Cheng Lei’s China detainment drawn out

Australian television journalist Cheng Lei, who has been detained in China over allegations of providing state secrets, has had the outcome to her trial delayed until next year and monthly consular visits postponed, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

It is the third time a verdict in Cheng’s case has been pushed out by another three months and now the earliest it could be resolved is January.

The mother-of-two and former anchor for Chinese state-run English language news channel broadcaster CGTN (China Global Television Network), was arrested in August 2020 and has remained in a Beijing jail.

A DFAT spokesman said the Australian government continued to provide consular assistance to Cheng and her family, however monthly visits from officials had been postponed.

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Warne’s former manager lashes ‘disrespectful’ Swan over death remarks

Shane Warne’s former manager is demanding the ABC act against its “sensationalist” coronavirus expert Dr Norman Swan after he asserted the cricket legend’s death was related to a previous COVID-19 infection, arguing it was “too much of a coincidence”, reports Nine Publishing’s Michael Koziol.

James Erskine accused Swan of being “totally disrespectful” to the families of the dead, joining criticism that erupted after the commentator linked Warne’s death – and that of Labor senator Kimberley Kitching – to prior COVID-19 infections, even though Kitching never had COVID.

Swan apologised personally to Kitching’s widower, Andrew Landeryou, by phone on Tuesday, and ABC News Breakfast ran an apology on Wednesday morning. ABC managers have also cautioned Swan about the incident.

“He understands the comments did not meet the ABC’s editorial standards,” an ABC spokesperson said. ABC chair Ita Buttrose, who previously called Swan a “treasure”, did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

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Adhesive appointed as retained consumer communications agency for Lendi Group

Adhesive has announced it has been appointed as the retained consumer communications agency for Lendi Group, the holding company for both Lendi and Aussie Home Loans.

The retained activity, won in a competitive pitch, sees the agency as a key partner for Lendi Group’s consumer focused activities, working on strategic communications, press office and brand campaigns.

Mike Maurice, Adhesive founder and managing director, said: “Access to home ownership continues to be front of mind for millions of Australians, and in the current economic climate Lendi plays a key role in helping to inform consumers on this relevant conversation.”

“From strategy to execution of consumer communications, our relationship with Lendi Group plays to our strengths and excites us,” he added.

Since the appointment, Adhesive has hit the ground running with a campaign in market focused on encouraging Australians to refinance and work towards financial wellness.

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Reality TV star Angie Kent opens up on her painful battle with PMDD

Angie Kent has opened up about her struggle and “journey” with premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder (PMDD), a brain hormone condition which triggers severe depression and has left her feeling “overwhelmed”, “lost” and like a “psychopath,” reports News Corp’s Tamaryn McGregor.

The reality TV star was diagnosed with PMDD this year, after a third laparoscopy for her polycystic ovarian syndrome and a major hormone imbalance.

“There’s negative connotations around it, you feel guilty about experiencing these feelings you have no control over,” Kent told The Daily Telegraph.

“Leading up to my period I’m a different person, I thought I was bipolar, I was so manic and completely not myself.

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Protest banner flies over I’m a Celebrity UK camp

A huge banner has flown over the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! campsite near in Dungay, NSW, near Murwillumbah this week, demanding UK politician Matt Hancock leaves the series, reports TV Tonight.

Organised by non-profit British lobby group 38 Degrees, the protest was directed at the poltiician who was the Health Minister during the height of the pandemic, but also broke the government’s own lockdown rules.

He has received a backlash since it was first reported he was due to appear as an intruder, for “cashing in” on the status he earned during the pandemic. The MP for West Suffolk also lost the Conservative Party whip when he signed up for the show.

The small aircraft jetted above the camp site with a massive 35 metre banner that read: “Covid bereaved say get out of here!”

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Sports Media

Fading one-day cricket may return on free-to-air television

Poor crowds for the largely invisible one-day series between Australia and England that starts in Adelaide on Thursday may help drive white-ball internationals back onto free-to-air television, report Nine Publishing’s Malcolm Conn and Zoe Samios.

While nothing can change until a new broadcast rights deal is finalised in 2024, negotiations are well under way with the three major commercial networks. A second round of submissions from the networks are due today.

“Negotiations are continuing,” was all a Cricket Australia spokesman would say.

The most significant challenge to current broadcasters Channel Seven and Fox appears to be Channel Ten, through cashed-up owner Paramount, which is also heavily promoting its streaming service.

Paramount offered $6 billion over 10 years for the AFL rights and missed out, leaving Channel Ten without a major sport.

Nine Entertainment Co remains interested in cricket but recently recommitted to tennis with a $425 million deal.

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