Roundup: Facebook negotiations, Next Sunrise host, Meghan and Harry + more

Harry and Meghan interview

Annastacia Palaszczuk, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Helen Reddy, Michael Gudinski, Critics Choice Awards, and Simon Reeve

Media Code

Treasurer’s Facebook victory lap may be too soon

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg did a victory lap last month, heralding game-changing concessions granted to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on the federal government’s media bargaining code that helped restore the social media giant’s services in Australia, reports AFR’s John Kehoe.

There is growing frustration and cynicism among local news media executives about the willingness of Facebook to bargain in good faith.

Senior news media executives say commercial negotiations are further behind than before Facebook brazenly shut down news, medical, government and other community online pages in response to Australia’s unique media bargaining code.

But among senior news executives at Nine and News, there is a growing feeling the Treasurer gave away too many concessions to Zuckerberg and let the billionaire off the hook.

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News Brands

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s attack on the Brisbane media

For four months, Annastacia Palaszczuk has been enjoying a post-election honeymoon bubble that seems to only accompany leaders who win three elections. But last week, the bubble emphatically burst, reports News Corp’s Nick Tabakoff.

A re-energised Brisbane press gallery — some members of which (perhaps unfairly) copped a bad rap in 2020 when they were recorded joking about asking her “Dorothy Dixers” during a campaign that won her a landslide victory — is showing Palaszczuk its teeth. And the Queensland Premier isn’t enjoying it.

Last Monday, matters came to a head when Palaszczuk engaged in a fiery ­exchange with a number of Brisbane political reporters lasting several minutes.

What was firing her up? Repeated questioning about whether she used two personal email ­accounts, [email protected] and [email protected], for government business, after their existence had been exposed the previous week.

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Erskine seals the tell-all deal for Kylie Moore-Gilbert on Sky

Suddenly, tell-all interviews are back. There was Lisa Wilkinson’s sit-down with former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins for The Project, and now on Tuesday night freed academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert will sit down with Melissa Doyle on Sky News to tell her tale of foreign imprisonment, accusations of espionage and her tumultuous homecoming, reports Samantha Hutchinson and Stephen Brook.

Celebrity agent and Sports & Entertainment Ltd (SEL) boss James Erskine, who represents Moore-Gilbert and quietly initiated talks with the television networks last year. Some baulked at his initial six-figure asking price and other demands, including running the interview edit-free.

See also: “She has been through hell”: Mel Doyle on Sky’s exclusive Kylie Moore-Gilbert interview

Erskine wouldn’t have had much trouble securing Doyle’s involvement, given that, yes, the super agent represents not only Moore-Gilbert but the former Seven journalist as well.


Helen Reddy honoured with major music award on International Women’s Day

As her feminist anthem I Am Woman rings out around the world today on International Women’s Day, Helen Reddy’s profound musical and activist legacy is back in the spotlight, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.

Australia’s songwriting community chose this day to announce Reddy would be posthumously honoured at the 2021 APRA Awards next month with the prestigious Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music.

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Michael Gudinski to be farewelled at State Memorial on March 24

Michael Gudinski’s state memorial will be held on March 24 at Rod Laver Arena, reports News Corp’s Cameron Adams.

The evening event is being planned as a celebration of Gudinski’s life and career.

Industry sources suggest the date will mean his friends from overseas will be able to attend, with singer Ed Sheeran rumoured to be among the invitees.

Details of how to attend the state memorial will be released later this week; it is also expected to be live streamed.

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Critics Choice Awards 2021 Winners: The Complete List

The 26th annual Critics Choice Awards, which honor some of the best film and television of the year, were presented Sunday. reports eonline‘s Alyssa Morin and Kailin Reily

In the TV category, Ozark and The Crown swept up six nods each this year, with What We Do in the Shadows, Lovecraft Country, Mrs. America and awards darling Schitt’s Creek also getting much love with five nominations each. Films nominated this year in multiple categories include Promising Young Woman, Nomadland and Ma Rainey‘s Black Bottom, starring the late Chadwick Boseman.

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Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview: How the world reacted, newspaper front pages

The world has been left reeling after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry did their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, leaving royal watchers, the press, celebrities and readers divided, reports News Corp’s Zoe Smith.

The explosive interview, in which Markle claimed she was suicidal when pregnant and that the royals refused to make son Archie a prince because they were worried how “dark” his skin would be, could trigger “the start of a PR war”, a public relations expert has said.

PR consultant Mark Borkowski said his initial reaction to the interview was that it was “pretty damaging to the royal family”.

The Guardian front page. Picture: Supplied

The Guardian front page

Daily Star front page. Picture: Supplied

Daily Star front page. Picture: Supplied


Daily Mail - 3am Edition front page. Picture: Supplied

Daily Mail – 3am Edition front page.

Metro front page from the UK Press. Picture: Supplied

Metro front page from the UK Press.


The Times front page. Picture: Supplied

The Times front page.

The Daily Telegraph front page.

The Daily Telegraph front page.


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Sam Armytage quits Sunrise to ‘find peace and calm’

Samantha Armytage is leaving Australia’s top-rating breakfast television show Sunrise following a rollercoaster six months, including the death of her mother and last-minute wedding on New Year’s Eve, reports News Corp’s Ellie Dudley and Lilly Vitorovich.

The 44-year-old journalist surprised viewers and the media industry on Monday morning with news of her departure from the Seven Network show after eight years co-hosting with veteran David Koch, with the formidable pair beating Nine and the ABC in the TV breakfast ratings war.

A visibly emotional Armytage said the death of her mother Libby Armytage last November and wedding to horse breeder Richard Lavender had contributed to her decision.

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Frontrunners to replace Samantha Armytage as Sunrise host

Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage’s resignation has sent shockwaves through the TV industry and now many are wondering who will replace the Channel 7 star, reports News Corp’s Mibengé Nsenduluka.

Confidential hears that rival morning show host Sarah Harris from Studio 10 is one name being circulated to replace Armytage.

Harris, 39, joined the struggling Channel 10 show as a co-host in 2013 and last year, the show’s panel of seven was slashed down to two to rival Channel’s 7 and 9.

Armytage’s Sunrise co-star, Natalie Barr, who is the show’s news presenter, is another favourite to replace the TV presenter.

Barr, 52, joined Channel 7 in 1994 and often fills in for Armytage when she is on leave.

Meanwhile, another former Studio 10 co-host Natarsha Belling is another possibility.

Belling, 50, left Channel 10 last year after more than 20 years as part of sweeping cuts at the network.

She later joined rival Channel 7 as a temporary fill-in host for Kylie Gillies on The Morning Show.

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Channel 7 settles court battle with former star Simon Reeve

An ex-star of breakfast TV show Sunrise has settled with former employer Channel 7 in a confidential settlement after months of courtroom drama, reports News Corp’s Frances Vinall.

Simon Reeve sued Seven Network in September claiming his Fair Work rights had been breached when he was let go last year.

But the matter was closed in the Federal Court on Thursday after being dismissed by judge Geoffrey Flick with the consent of both parties.

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