Roundup: Donald Trump’s trial verdict, Rupert Murdoch marries again, Lehrmann files appeal without lawyers

US Election donald Trump

Big tech, James Packer, Paramount Global, Jackie O, SAS Australia, Bluey

Business of Media

‘Guilty on all counts’: how the world’s media reacted to the Trump trial’s historic verdict

“Guilty on all counts,” is the headline on the Guardian’s front page on Friday, after Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in a historic criminal hush-money trial, reports The Guardian’s Jonathan Yerushalmy.

It took the jury less than 12 hours to reach a verdict in the unprecedented first criminal trial against a current or former US president.

On the big question of whether the verdict will affect the outcome of November’s presidential election – in which poll after poll shows Trump to be the marginal favourite over incumbent Joe Biden – the paper’s Washington bureau chief David Smith is clear: “If this doesn’t do it, perhaps nothing will.”

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Rupert Murdoch hosts secret wedding as he eyes trip home

It happened so quickly and quietly almost nobody noticed. This weekend, Rupert Murdoch got hitched for the fifth time, to retired molecular biologist Elena Zhukova, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Guests were papped arriving at the 14-acre Moraga family vineyard in Bel Air, Los Angeles. They included New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his wife Dana Blumberg, and News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson and his wife Wang Ping. Presumably there were more, but after the spectacle of the 2016 nuptials to Jerry Hall, who could begrudge the family for opting for the low-key option.

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Lehrmann files appeal without lawyers

Bruce Lehrmann has told the Federal Court he will appeal the finding at his defamation trial that he raped former colleague Brittany Higgins – and that he might be a self-represented litigant, reports Nine Publishing’s Michael Pelly.

Lehrmann met the deadline of 4.30pm on Friday, but filed the required “notice of appeal” under his own name, indicating he has not formally engaged lawyers.

Both his barristers at the trial – Steven Whybrow, SC, and Matthew Richardson, SC – withdrew from acting for the former Liberal Party staffer after Justice Michael Lee delivered his verdict on April 15.

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Big tech not above the law: Miller

Big tech companies are thumbing their noses at Australia’s laws, giving way to a “social media crisis” which will cause untold social and economic damage to the nation in the next few decades, News Corp Australasia’s boss Michael Miller has warned, reports The Australian’s James Madden.

In a speech to be delivered at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday, Miller will highlight the extent to which global tech giants are effectively allowed to do as they please in Australia, in the absence of any effective checks and balances.

“These tech giants — especially social media networks such as Meta, TikTok and X — choose to operate outside our legal system,” Miller will say.

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News Brands

James Packer’s verdict on Nine crisis: chairman Peter Costello is a dud

Billionaire James Packer, whose family history will forever be linked to the Nine Network, has taken a swipe at the company’s long-serving chairman, Peter Costello, accusing the former federal treasurer of failing the media giant’s shareholders, reports The Australian’s James Madden.

Packer, who inherited Nine from his father, Kerry Packer, in 2005 before cutting all ties with the company in 2012 – and making a significant profit in the process – says Costello’s eight-year tenure as the media organisation’s chair “hasn’t been good” for the ­investors.

“I think being chairman of Nine is all he (Costello) has left and he will try and keep the job for as long as he can,” Packer told The Australian at the weekend.

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Directors at Network Ten owner Paramount back merger with Skydance

Paramount Global directors evaluating a bid for the film and TV giant endorsed a takeover offer by independent producer David Ellison, according to people familiar with the situation, moving the storied Hollywood studio closer to a sale, report Bloomberg’s Christopher Palmeri, Lucas Shaw, and Michelle F. Davis.

As part of a multi-step deal, Ellison’s Skydance Media is offering to purchase Shari Redstone’s National Amusements Inc, the family company that holds a controlling stake in Paramount. Skydance then plans to merge with Paramount, offering more than $US3 billion ($4.5 billion) to that company’s other investors in the form of cash and debt repayment.

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Jackie O: ‘I have made it this far on my own … have not stomped over anyone to get here’

Melbourne’s new ‘it’ girl is a cashed up blonde with Barbie doll looks and a taste for designer labels who runs with the celeb set, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

But in a twist, while she is the woman every PR wants on their guest list, she doesn’t live in Melbourne.

Jackie ‘O’ Henderson, one half of KIIS FM’s Kyle & Jackie O Show alongside Kyle Sandilands, is the city’s ‘most wanted’ as she and her controversial co-star crashed their way into Melbourne’s breakfast radio market.

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Will SAS Australia still screen in 2024?

If SAS Australia is still set to screen in 2024, nobody is yet saying so, reports TV Tonight.

There have been no casting whispers and no production rumours for the Seven show, which was announced as returning this year.

In November Seven Network’s Chief Content Officer, Entertainment Programming, Angus Ross, said, “SAS Australia will return in 2024 with a new batch of celebrities and with more extreme conditions and extraordinary tests of stamina and resilience from the real SAS selection process.”

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Bluey will be the star of Queensland’s new tourism campaign

Global phenomenon Bluey will be the official face of Queensland, fronting the Sunshine State’s biggest tourism campaign in more than a decade, reports News Corp’s Joanne Williamson.

The adored cartoon blue heeler and her family call Brisbane home and tourism bosses are hoping her popularity will lead to fans wanting to see ‘Bluey’s world, for real life’.

“For the past six years, Bluey and the backdrop of Brisbane has captivated audiences globally and now it’s time to bring the world here to Queensland – Bluey’s world for real life,” Premier Steven Miles said.

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