Roundup: Fox’s 4-for-1 Pitch, BuzzFeed earnings, Brian Taylor + more


Plus: Chris Uhlmann vs Katharine Murphy, Scott Morrison, Seven and Sky News

Business of Media

Strange Bedfellows at Fox’s 4-for-1 Pitch

The old wall between Fox and Fox News is more of a sheer curtain these days. Evidence of the blurring between the pillars of Rupert Murdoch’s media behemoth can be seen in Rudy Giuliani’s recent turn on entertainment flagship The Masked Singer — and the network brass’ nonchalance over criticism for the casting choice, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Mikey O’Connel.

Brand identity got even blurrier late Monday afternoon, when, for the first time, a “One Fox” upfront pitch to advertisers placed as much emphasis on conservative cable news outfit Fox News Media as it did on the broadcast network, sports division and ad-supported streamer Tubi. Susan Sarandon, the outspoken progressive who’ll star in Fox fall drama Monarch, even graced the same presentation in which Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott led a 10-minute pitch about her polarizing (and extremely successful) suite of platforms.

“We are all part of one Fox,” Scott said during her pre-taped remarks, clearing up any lingering confusion.

Fox bucked precedent in other ways, ditching the large Beacon Theatre event of years past for a smaller venue downtown. The 500-capacity gathering at Battery Park City’s Skylight, held in the round, was an almost entirely digital affair. The same day NBCUniversal trotted out dozens of celebrities in the flesh, and hours after New York officials warned of mounting COVID cases, Fox pitched a pre-recorded “immersive experience” where various division executives walked through talking points and cut to messages from talent.

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BuzzFeed Sees Decline in User Engagement as Total Revenue Misses Expectations

In its first Q1 earnings report since going public, BuzzFeed reported $91.6 million in revenue, falling below Wall Street expectations, and a 4 percent decline in user engagement, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan.

Advertising accounted for the majority of BuzzFeed’s revenue, bringing in $48.7 million. Content revenue followed with $32.3 million during the quarter, with the majority of the growth attributed to BuzzFeed’s acquisition of Complex Networks last December, executives said on the company’s earnings call on Monday.

But commerce revenue declined 27 percent year over year for a total of $10.6 million during the quarter. Net losses also ballooned by 294 percent as BuzzFeed reported $44.6 million in losses during the quarter, compared to $11.3 million the previous year. Similar to other digital-first companies, BuzzFeed was impacted, in part, by ongoing supply chain delays, according to BuzzFeed CFO Felicia DellaFortuna.

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News Brands

Chris Uhlmann vs Katharine Murphy: Canberra’s latest feud

As the seemingly endless six-week election campaign drags into its final days, relations have become decidedly frosty between two Canberra press gallery leaders, Nine’s Chris Uhlmann and The Guardian’s political editor Katharine “Murpharoo” Murphy, reports News Corp’s Nick Tabakoff.

Any pretence of civility between two of the press gallery’s best-known members disintegrated last week, after Murphy fired off an insult-riddled 1000-word opinion piece, which eviscerated Nine’s Sunday night ‘Great Debate’ under the 60 Minutes banner.

That went down like a lead balloon with Uhlmann, the main public face of the debate as one of its chief architects, and member of the panel that interrogated Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese. Uhlmann launched into a mocking assessment of his own of The Guardian and its journalists, who he described as behaving like a “medieval church” driven by “witch hunts”.

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Morrison gives the shrug to the National Press Club

Scott Morrison gave some serious love to the lectern on Sunday as he presided over the Liberals’ official campaign launch in Brisbane. Up on stage, PM30 spoke for a marathon 50 minutes as he announced a signature housing policy and implored voters to stick with the Coalition. “We kept our head in the crisis,” he said, reports SMH’s Samantha Hutchinson and Stephen Brook.

But there’s another lectern he’s avoiding. A week out from polling day and Morrison is yet to commit to making a traditional final week address to the National Press Club, which has been a staple of the federal election calendar since 1969.

The early whispers from the Liberal camp have been in the negative. But that hasn’t stopped NPC chief executive Maurice Reilly from staying optimistic.

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Seven Network reveals its in-depth coverage of Federal Election

Seven Network has revealed its line-up for coverage of the upcoming Federal Election.

The coverage is set to feature up-to-the-minute polling results, informed commentary and analysis from an unrivalled team of journalists and political experts live on Channel 7, 7plus and across and social platforms on Saturday, 21 May.

7NEWS political editor Mark Riley joins Sunrise co-host Natalie Barr and 7NEWS anchor Michael Usher in leading the nation’s most comprehensive and dynamic election coverage – this year featuring an Australian television-first the “Screen of Dreams” which is set to fast-track winners and decide our next government.

The state-of-the-art, touch-screen technology, made famous by CNN’s John King during the dramatic unfolding of the most recent US Presidential election, proved invaluable to viewers as it was able to process pre-poll and postal trends, which look set to be mirrored this election and play a significant role in deciding the winners.

With the Australian Election Commission confirming more than two million pre-poll votes have already been lodged before Election Day, the early figures and voting trends will feed into 7NEWS’ specialist analysis and advanced number-crunching, giving Australians the definitive breaking and scrutinised results ahead of the pack.

Adding insight from within the major parties and players, Seven’s expert panel will include Labor’s campaign ‘pin up’ Jason Clare, former ACT chief minister, senator Katy Gallagher and shadow minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, while former Coalition star and Morrison Government’s first Defence minister, Christopher Pyne, incumbent attorney general and minister for Industrial Relations, Michaelia Cash and deputy Nationals leader David Littleproud will aim up for the LNP.

Alongside the revolutionary “Screen of Dreams” will be “The Panic Station”, filled with the smartest numbers’ operatives from both major parties who will help put 7NEWS viewers well ahead of the rest in determining when seats are won and lost.

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Sky News Australia announces coverage line up of Election 2022

Sky News is set to bring Australians the most comprehensive live coverage, unrivalled analysis and exclusive insights from the Labor and Liberal campaigns and battleground seats across Australia as the polls open on Saturday, May 21.

After three extraordinary years, will prime minister Scott Morrison enter another term in office, or will he be replaced by a new government in Labor’s Anthony Albanese?

It’s the final chapter in the ultimate leadership contest and the award-winning Sky News political team will bring Australians every moment, live as it happens.

Backed by more than 25 years of experience, Australia’s first 24-hour news channel continues its reign as the leading destination for political news coverage with insights from the nation’s best commentators and news breakers.  

Election 2022: Australia Decides will air live on Sky News on Foxtel and Sky News Regional, or stream on Flash.

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Sport Media

Brian Taylor back by popular demand causing changeroom chaos

The return of Brian Taylor’s popular footy segment “Roaming Brian” is imminent, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Despite talk of its demise, the commentator is set to be unleashed again post-game on Friday nights.

“It’s been a long time since we last saw Brian roaming free in the winners’ changerooms,’’ said Channel 7’s managing director Lewis Martin.

“Fortunately for the fans, we won’t have to wait much longer.

“By popular demand, Roaming Brian will be back, better than ever in the coming weeks, with exclusive and unfiltered access to all your favourite characters of the game on Seven’s Friday Night Footy.”

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