Roundup: Eddie McGuire returning to 10? Depp v Heard, Anti-Siphoning List

Eddie McGuire

Plus: REA, SOCIETY, and Cheng Lei

Business of Media 

REA wants to expand into all elements of property

Property listings portal REA Group says its acquisition days are not over yet, as it looks to own the full gamut of offerings associated with property, signalling plans to expand the business to deliver double-digit revenue and earnings growth, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward.

REA Group chief executive Owen Wilson said the group wanted to own all elements of the property experience, nominating insurance as an example of what the group is yet to offer.

“We know that anyone seriously looking to buy a property is thinking about financing … we know that soon as you buy a property, you absolutely have to insure – the banks insist on it, so there are elements that we can still go into,” he said when asked about the group’s plans in the mergers and acquisition space.

Wilson was speaking to The Australian Financial Review following REA Group’s first investor strategy day, designed to highlight how the group has evolved from a property listings portal to a property, finance and data business.

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Brightcove appoints David Beck as chief strategy and corporate development officer

Brightcove Inc. has announced a key executive hire of David Beck.

Beck will join the video streaming, monetisation, and communications platform as its first chief strategy and corporate development officer, leading strategy, business development, and corporate development for the company.

The newly appointed first chief strategy and corporate development officer will work closely with the recently appointed CEO, Marc DeBevoise.

Beck will be focused on developing strategies that enhance current offerings and create opportunities to expand Brightcove’s existing businesses. His broad remit will also focus on enabling Brightcove to expand into new markets and lines of business utilising its market-leading software platform.

DeBevoise said of Beck’s appointment: “We are excited to bolster our executive team with the appointment of David Beck as Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer.

“David is an exceptional strategist and operator with deep industry experience and a proven track record of architecting innovative strategies and initiatives for world-class companies and brands.”

“I’m excited to get to work with David and have him help us realise our vision and crystalise our continued growth strategy,” DeBevoise added.

Beck brings two decades of experience in strategy, operations, and business development at elite digital brands, most recently having served as the executive vice president, head of content strategy and business operations at AMC.

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SOCIETY unveils new brand positioning as marks its five-year anniversary

SOCIETY is celebrating its five-year anniversary with the announcement of its new brand positioning, centred on a people-first approach to sparking brand connections.

The award-winning, integrated creative agency – founded in 2017 by Dena Vassallo – now employs more than 20 staff, and is set to continue its expansion over the course of 2022.

SOCIETY was initially created by Vassallo to start a revolution in the way agencies support brands and organisations that are positively shaping the societies in which we live, work, and play.

Born from a desire to make the marketing and communications industry even more people obsessed, with five years under its belt, the agency is relaunching with a refreshed brand positioning.

Vassallo said: “We believe the best brands are set apart by the way they make people feel. As we celebrate our fifth birthday at SOCIETY, we are relaunching with a new methodology, the SOCIETY Spark, as our focus.

“This “spark” means that the campaigns we design will ignite curiosity, earn attention, and create more human connections for brands.”

Of the five-year anniversary, and SOCIETY’s exponential growth since its beginning, Vassallo noted that it is an exciting time for the female-led agency.

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News Brands

China ends Cheng Lei visits, dismisses concerns

The partner of Australian journalist Cheng Lei has revealed that consular visits to her Beijing prison have been suspended as Xi Jinping’s Canberra envoy says her situation should “not be a problem” for Australia’s relations with China, reports News Corp’s Will Glassgow.

In his first interview since Cheng was nabbed by China’s Ministry of State Security in Aug­ust 2020, Nick Coyle told Sky News Australia Beijing’s behaviour was “unacceptable”.

“These monthly consular visits have literally been what’s kept her going for 20 months,” said Mr Coyle, the outgoing chief executive of the Australian China Chamber of Commerce.

“She’s been able to make no phone calls with anybody, [had] maybe three visits from her lawyer to prepare for the trial and not one phone call with family or her children.”

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Amber Heard to pay Johnny Depp $10m after losing defamation case

A US jury has found both Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard liable for defamation following an intense, high profile trial riding on bitterly contested allegations of domestic abuse, reports AFP.

The seven-member jury found Depp proved all three claims of defamation against his former spouse regarding statements in an opinion article she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, awarding him $15 million. Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive damages the jury awarded to Depp to $350,000, the state’s statutory cap, amending his total damages to $10.4 million.

The jury also found Heard was able to prove one of three counts of defamation against Depp, based on statements made by one of his lawyers that her abuse claims were a “hoax.” The jury awarded her $2 million in compensatory damages.

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Yes, 10 supports the Anti-Siphoning List

While Foxtel calls it anti-competitive, Free to Air networks have long wanted to see it renewed and extended, yet despite having a paywall with Paramount+, 10 still sees a role for the Anti-Siphoning List, reports TV Tonight.

“We’ve said all along, we’re tactically interested in sport. We always look at sport when the opportunity comes along,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Paramount ANZ, Beverley McGarvey,

“We‘ve obviously got the A-League and a lot of football. I think now that we have a different portfolio of distribution means, it opens up the conversation for more sport. Because in order to commit to something of that scale, you need to have a lot of different places where you can utilise the content and really service the audience which we now have.

“We’re very supportive of Anti-Siphoning List. We have many different facets to our business. There’s a certain amount of content that Australians deserve to see in front of the paywall. Those sports for our national culture need the reach that is offered in front of the paywall.

“But the economics mean, you’ve got to put some stuff behind the paywall, so that you can invest in those sports and pay for those sports and so they continue to grow at a grassroots level and they have the investment capacity within their organisations.”

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Eddie McGuire set to return to his first network as host of Ten’s Melbourne Cup Carnival

Eddie McGuire looks set to return to his first network as host of 10’s Melbourne Cup Carnival coverage, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

McGuire started his decorated television career at Network 10 as a sports journalist in the early 80s and has gone on to host a variety of successful shows for Nine and Fox Footy.

On Footy Classified which he hosts each Wednesday night, the former Collingwood president was asked by panellist Caroline Wilson if he would be fronting the racing coverage this year.

“I’ve got no comment to make about anything about this,’’ he said.

“And in due course things will be announced that I’m doing, in fact here at the Nine network.”

When Wilson pressed again about the Carnival coverage he said: “We’ll see what happens”.

10’s racing coverage was co-hosted last year by Michael Felgate, Caty Price and Michelle Payne. Sports presenter Stephen Quartermain has also previously co-hosted with Gorgi Coghlan.

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