Roundup: Elon Musk invites advertisers back to X, Extension of AFL Sportsbet deal, Fourth gen Murdoch

Elon Musk. Photograh- David Talukdar_Shutterstock

Paramount’s failed merger, Kim Williams, Location incentives, Grant Denyer, Bridie O’Donnell

Business of Media

Elon Musk pitches advertisers on a return to X, months after telling some to ‘F’ themselves

Seven months after declaring that advertisers pulling their ads from his social-media platform X could “go f— yourself,” Elon Musk took a more congenial tone onstage at the advertising industry’s most important annual festival, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Megan Graham.

Musk joined Mark Read, chief executive of ad giant WPP, in a session Wednesday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France. “Back in November, you had a message to us. You told us to go f— ourselves,” Read said. “Why did you say that? And what did you mean by that?”

Musk said that he had not intended the message for advertisers as a whole.

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What Went Wrong: Inside Paramount’s failed merger talks and the battle to salvage the company

For Shari Redstone, it was nothing personal. But the longer the negotiations went on, the more Redstone fell out of love with the idea of marrying her family’s legacy to David Ellison’s Skydance Media, report Variety Australia’s Cynthia Littleton and Todd Spangler.

So on June 11, as board members of Paramount Global were about to hold a key meeting on the long-gestating deal to merge with Skydance, Redstone was out — even as those around her were still scrambling to get it done.

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Fourth gen Murdoch joins the family trade

The Sydney newsroom of might still be coming to grips with the brutal editorial changes that upended the leadership at its tabloid news website. But the arrival of a new intern certainly shows it’s not finished looking for talent, reports Nine Publishing’s Mark Di Stefano.

Aidan Murdoch, the 18-year-old son of News Corp chairman and proprietor Lachlan and wife Sarah, recently joined the newsroom, unpaid, one day a week.

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News Brands

Kim Williams outlines ABC renewal, calls for funding boost

ABC chair Kim Williams has outlined his vision for a dramatic renewal of the national broadcaster, with the overhaul to be underpinned by a frank internal assessment of the relevance of the taxpayer-funded media organisation in the digital age, report The Australian’s James Madden and Sophie Elsworth.

Delivering the Redmond Barry Address at the State Library of Victoria on Wednesday night, Williams – who assumed the role of ABC chair in early March – said the exponential growth of digital technology was threatening society’s “freedoms and our democracy”, and was presenting serious challenges for modern media companies including the ABC.

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Are location incentives good bang for buck or a sugar hit?

Unlimited public funding for Hollywood film productions in location incentives makes little sense, it has been argued, reports TV Tonight.

Amanda Lotz, Professor at Queensland University of Technology wrote in Nikkei Asia that location offsets support productions that tell stories about anywhere, by anyone.

“This will not deliver Australian stories and will likely make it harder to tell such stories as local producers compete with deep Hollywood pockets for studio space and creative talent,” she wrote.

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Low self-esteem: the moment Grant Denyer realised he was ‘enough’

He has been a fixture on our television for decades, yet Grant Denyer believes he has only now found his true self on screen, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The Deal or No Deal host has finally found the freedom he had been chasing for so long.

“I think this is finally the first television show where I am truly myself,” Denyer told Confidential.

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Sports Media

‘Bigger than the Olympics’: Bridie O’Donnell on the Tour de France’s highs and lows

The Tour de France will look a little different this year. Book-ending the Paris Olympics, the men’s race and the women’s Tour de France Femmes will take different routes, with the latter beginning in the Netherlands, reports Nine Publishing’s Bridget McManus.

And for the first time in 100 years, the men’s race will not culminate in a flash of Lycra down the Champs-Élysées, but with a time trial in Nice. But this is no reason to cry, “Quelle horreur!” SBS commentator and Australian national time trial champion Dr Bridie O’Donnell assures us.

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McLachlan brokered extension of Sportsbet deal before he left the AFL

Gillon McLachlan oversaw an extension of the AFL’s multimillion-dollar advertising sponsorship deal with wagering giant Sportsbet until 2028 before he departed the league, reports Nine Publishing’s Peter Ryan.

There was no public announcement but two industry sources, who wanted to remain anonymous because of sensitivities around the issue, confirmed the extension of the deal, which had been due to expire in 2025.

The extension prevents other wagering businesses, including McLachlan’s new employer, Tabcorp, from advertising or promoting their odds on AFL platforms for a further three years. McLachlan, the AFL and Sportsbet were contacted for comment.

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