Roundup: Doug Mulray farewelled, WGA vote to strike, Jeopardy!

Doug Mulray

Evan Gershkovich, Fox Corp, Canada Public Broadcaster, Mischa Barton, MasterChef, Australian Idol

Business of Media

Doug Mulray farewelled by closest mates at wake befitting the great man

They did Doug Mulray proud, providing a send-off fit for one of Sydney’s favourite sons: the greatest icon of Sydney FM radio bar none, who passed away a fortnight ago, aged 71, reports Nine Publishing’s Peter FitzSimons.

On a strictly invitation-only basis, 150 people from the wider “Mulray family” – as those who worked most closely with him refer to themselves – joined his actual family at Doltone House in Pyrmont on Tuesday afternoon. After his wife Liz and children James, Rosie and Tom had privately farewelled him that morning, the wider mob was here for the wake – to tell stories, sing songs and bid a riotous and teary farewell in equal measure to the man who dominated Sydney’s airwaves for most of the ’80s, into the early ’90s, on Triple M.

Guests included Andrew Denton, Jennifer Byrne, Mike Carlton, Reggae Ellis, Reg Prasad, Dave Gibson, Lisa Wilkinson (thank you, I know), his long-time manager Hamish Cameron, Ian Grace, Mikey Robins, Brendan Jones, Rob Duckworth, Ian Rogerson, Trevor Jackson and David White, aka “the mighty Whitey” his long-time newsreader.

Rosie Mulray’s observation that “Dad’s special knack was to bring good people together” was borne out even in death, as guests, many of whom had not seen each other for years, embraced, laughed and cried as the room filled.

But hark. For now Andrew Denton – more or less discovered by Mulray, who launched him as “Andrew the Boy Wonder from Indoor Cricket” on Triple M in the late ’80s – called the wake to order and prepared to get proceedings under way.

[Read More]

See Also: Doug Mulray dies: Australia loses Sydney FM radio pioneer, ‘true radio royalty’

Russian judge rejects WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich’s detention appeal

A Russian judge has rejected an appeal by the Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich against the decision to hold him in detention before his trial on charges of espionage, reports The Guardian’s Shaun Walker.

Gershkovich, 31, is the first US journalist to be detained in Russia on espionage charges since the end of the cold war and, if found guilty, could face up to 20 years in prison.

Russia’s FSB security service has accused him of collecting state secrets about Russia’s military for the benefit of US intelligence, charges that have been roundly condemned as political and unfounded.

Hearings in his case are being held in closed sessions because of the nature of the charges, but cameras were briefly allowed into the courtroom before Tuesday’s hearing started. The court was only deciding on the decision to hold Gershkovich in pre-trial detention, not on the substance of the case.

It was the first time the outside world has seen proper footage of Gershkovich since his arrest at the end of March. The reporter was wearing jeans and a checked shirt and standing inside a glass case known informally as an “aquarium”, where defendants in Russian court cases are often held. He appeared calm and was pictured smiling. Marks on one of his wrists appeared to show where he had been kept in handcuffs.

[Read More]

Hollywood writers overwhelmingly vote to authorize strike

Writers in Hollywood represented by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if union leadership decides to call for one, amid contract negotiations with major studios, reports The Guardian’s Michael Sainato.

The strike vote was approved, with 97.85% of members voting in favor and 2.15% voting against. More than 9,200 ballots were cast in the vote, and nearly 80% of all members participated. The results surpass the union’s strike vote results in 2017, when 6,310 ballots were cast with 96.3% voting in favor.

The WGA, which represents around 11,500 film and television writers, has characterized the new union contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) as an opportunity to reverse a trend of declining compensation for writers in the entertainment industry, despite companies consistently reporting multibillion-dollar profit margins.

The current contract ends on 1 May.

[Read More]

News Brands

Fox Corp’s investors eye suing company directors over 2020 election lies

Fox Corp shareholders are demanding company records that may show whether directors and executives properly oversaw Fox News’ coverage of former President Donald Trump’s election-rigging claims, sources told Reuters, in what could be a prelude to lawsuits seeking to make directors liable for costs, report Reuters’ Jody Godoy and Helen Coster.

Investors are using provisions in Delaware corporate law to demand internal Fox records to investigate how Fox’s leaders acted as its Fox News network aired segments on Trump’s false claims that he lost the 2020 presidential election due to voter fraud, two sources confirmed.

In moves not previously reported, shareholders are looking for records such as board minutes, emails and texts that may contain evidence that Fox directors and executives were derelict by allowing the network to air the false claims.

The shareholders could use these as well as evidence presented in other lawsuits to build a case for the leaders to be held personally liable for costs from two defamation cases by voting-machine companies over the Fox coverage.

The sources requested anonymity to discuss the demands, which are not public, and declined to provide further details. It was not clear how many Fox shareholders are pursuing information demands.

A spokesperson for Fox did not reply to a request for comment.

[Read More]

Canada Public Broadcaster joins NPR in quitting Twitter over label uproar

Canada’s main public broadcaster said Monday that it was pausing activity on Twitter, becoming the latest media outlet to refrain from posting because of the social media platform’s policy on labeling accounts, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Vieira.

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said the decision comes a day after Twitter labeled its @CBC account as “government-funded media.” Twitter defines such outlets as those that rely mostly on government funding to carry out operations “and may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.”

Last week, National Public Radio said it would back away from using Twitter over receiving the same label. In response, Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted, “Defund @NPR.” Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, also abandoned Twitter on the same grounds. CBC has now joined their ranks, saying in a statement that the labeling is “untrue and deceptive.”

“Twitter can be a powerful tool for our journalists to communicate with Canadians, but it undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do to allow our independence to be falsely described in this way,” CBC said.

[Read More]


Will Marissa from The OC actually lure Millennials back to Ramsay Street?

The producers of the upcoming series of Neighbours, which is being brought back to life by Amazon, are banking on 2000s “it” girl Mischa Barton to entice Millennials back to Ramsay Street as she prepares to guest star in the upcoming reboot, reports Nine Publishing’s Nell Geraets.

The surprise announcement that Marissa Cooper was trading The O.C. for suburban Melbourne drew attention for how incongruous it was. But it’s far from the first time a television show has taken advantage of certain stars’ mass appeal to boost viewership and generate conversation. From Brad Pitt and Robin Williams in Friends to Paris Hilton in Supernatural, guest stars have attracted new audiences to shows that may otherwise have become trapped in a niche.

But given Barton is hardly a household name these days, is there a chance this kind of gambit could have the opposite effect and come across more like a desperate bid for relevance?

Neighbours announced its surprise comeback just one month after its finale last year. As is the case with many reboots, it faces the challenge of knuckling down a target demographic. The original show’s audience has aged and probably moved onto other series, while younger audiences lack the associated nostalgia necessary to generate interest. How could they tackle this? Cast a 2000s icon.

[Read More]

Viewer support helped bring Brent Draper back into the MasterChef kitchen

Former contestant Brent Draper makes a triumphant return to MasterChef as one of the joyful surprises this season, reports News Corp’s Lisa Woolford.

Chatting exclusively to NewsCorp ahead of the cooking competition’s Secrets & Surprises launch, the former tradie – who quit the show in 2020 recognising he needed to prioritise his mental health – had to sit with the decision for a week when producers first came calling.

Brent was at the tip of WA, partway through his round-Australia trip in the bus he’d renovated, and wasn’t sure he wanted to leave the idyllic nomad life.

“But then I thought ‘I’ve got some unfinished business here’,” Brent said, adding he’d seen his doctor and psychologist regularly since leaving the show.

“I’ve done all the hard work mentally. I’ve got my, sort of, toolbox and I understand now what I went through. I understand anxiety, and I’m a different person for that experience, that first season of MasterChef.

“There’s a book that’s half-written and I’ve got to finish that off.”

[Read More]

Harry Connick Jr weighs in on the future of Australian Idol

Jazz star Harry Connick Jr will tour here for the first time in a decade but remains uncertain if Seven will continue with Australian Idol next year, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.

The musician, actor and television personality has booked seven shows in six cities in December after rekindling his fanbase here with his stint on the rebooted television talent quest won by Royston Noell.

“I haven’t heard if they’ve even picked it up (for next year). But I’m always the last to know this stuff anyway,” he said.

“I would think if it were picked up and I were able to do it, it would probably work because the auditions are in October and the live shows are in February.

“But it’s so far in advance, I couldn’t even tell you.”

[Read More]

“Nine is thrilled to welcome… Jeopardy! & Stephen Fry”

As first reported by TV Tonight, an Australian version of Jeopardy! hosted by Stephen Fry has now been confirmed by Nine, reports TV Tonight.

UK production company Whisper North, which is producing the British version in Manchester for ITV, will also produce the six-part Jeopardy! Australia. with expat Australian contestants.

“Jeopardy! has a format that – strikingly unusual as it seems at first – just gets under the skin of an audience, and reveals more and more depths of delight,” said Stephen Fry.

“Nine is thrilled to welcome two great institutions to the network: Jeopardy! the world’s greatest quizshow format, and Stephen Fry, the doyen of TV hosts,” said Adrian Swift, Nine’s head of content, production and development.

[Read More]

To Top