Roundup: Foxtel IPO, Rupert Murdoch takes on Tech Giants, Vale: Dean Banks + more

Tegan George

• Gaven Morris, Mark Geyer, J Awards, and Lisa Wilkinson

Business of Media

Foxtel lines up investors for meetings as it weighs 2022 float

News Corp and Telstra-owned pay TV operator Foxtel may be waiting until the new year to say yea or nay to its mooted float, but that’s not stopping it getting in some early educational meetings with select fund managers, report AFR’s Anthony Macdonald, Yolanda Redrup and Kanika Sood.

It is understood Foxtel held a round of secret meetings with fund managers in late October/early November, and its bankers are busy booking in investors for another round of chats for later this month.

As expected, Foxtel has brokers from Citi and Bank of America on board running the early meetings – and no doubt the initial public offering if it transpires.

The initial talks with possible investors kicked off soon after Foxtel’s strategy day in late September, which positioned the company as a portfolio of future-facing brands – substantially stronger than the cable TV business of four years ago.

[Read More]

Murdoch accuses Facebook and Google of censoring conservatives

Rupert Murdoch has accused Facebook and Google of censoring conservatives and criticised former US President Donald Trump for continuing to focus on his 2020 election defeat, reports AFR’s Miranda Devine.

The News Corp executive chairman wants “significant reform” of the digital platforms.

“What we have seen in the past few weeks about the practices at Facebook and Google surely reinforces the need for significant reform,” he told the media company’s annual general meeting. “There is no doubt that Facebook employees try to silence conservative voices and a quick Google News search on most contemporary topics often reveals a similar pattern of selectivity – or to be blunt, censorship.”

[Read More]

News Brands

Facebook publishes and must be damned

Social media like Facebook, YouTube and the rest, search engines like Google, don’t need to be better regulated, they need to be destroyed, writes News Corp’s Terry McCrann.

This would be, this should be, achieved by the simple expedient of holding them accountable for what they publish – and that word is used very, very advisedly.

Holding them accountable like every other publisher in Australia – which most matters to us; and like every other publisher in the US – which most matters to them and their bottom lines; would destroy their parasitic, all power and no responsibility, business models.

[Read More]

“I would get a phone call from somebody else”

Outgoing ABC News boss Gaven Morris has revealed how “subtle” pressure from above has been applied to the news division without leaving telltale traces, reports TV Tonight.

Speaking to Inside Story, Morris referred to the period when Justin Milne was chairman and Michelle Guthrie was managing director.

Guthrie was sacked by the board in 2018, and Milne was forced to resign shortly afterwards after Guthrie revealed he had pressured her to sack journalists, Andrew Probyn and Emma Alberici.

Milne was also a friend of PM Malcolm Turnbull.

“When Turnbull came out and said, ‘Well, I’ve never phoned Gaven Morris,’ he’s right about that,” Gaven Morris said.

“I didn’t get phone calls from Turnbull, but what I would notice is that other people would get phone calls that were very similar to the ones I was getting from other quarters… So the [Canberra] bureau would get a phone call from somebody. I would get a phone call from somebody else. Michelle [Guthrie] would get a phone call from somebody else.”

[Read More]


Former 3AW breakfast host Dean Banks dies after cancer battle

Former 3AW breakfast host Dean Banks has passed away after a long health battle, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Banks co-hosted the program alongside Ross Stevenson from 1990 to 2000 and retired at age 51.

He had been battling cancer for many years, with Stevenson remembering his former colleague as a “beautiful man”. He died on Wednesday night.

“He was a glorious person to work with,’’ Stevenson said.

“A brilliant broadcaster with a beautiful voice and great clarity. He always said speak with a smile in your voice and listeners absolutely adored him.”

Stevenson said he admired Banks’ “integrity and good sense of humour”.

[Read More]

Triple M host Mark Geyer says he was ‘shocked’ by Lawrence Mooney’s abrupt exit

As speculation surrounding Lawrence Mooney’s unceremonious exit from Triple M continues to mount, one of the comedian’s colleagues has weighed in, reports News Corp’s Bella Fowler.

Former NRL player Mark Geyer, who was set to join Mooney’s breakfast team next year, said he was “shocked” by the terse announcement, adding that he was “looking forward” to working with the radio star.

Mooney, 56, suddenly departed his breakfast show on Monday more than a week after vanishing from the airwaves with no explanation offered by co-hosts Jess Eva and Chris Page. Geyer has now quietly joined the team for the rest of the year through to 2022.

[Read More]

triple j announces the 2021 J Awards winners

In its 17th year, triple j’s J Awards recognises the best Australian music, and the public broadcaster has now announced the winners for 2021.

2021 J Award winners

Australian Album of the Year
Genesis Owusu – Smiling With No Teeth

Unearthed Artist of the Year
King Stingray

Double J Artist of the Year
The Avalanches

Done Good Award
Jaguar Jonze: Advocacy & Support of Abuse Survivors

triple j and rage Australian Music Video of the Year
Genesis Owusu – ‘The Other Black Dog’ Dir. Riley Blakeway


“I hated those stupid mascots”

The real reason Lisa Wilkinson left the Today show can now be revealed, reports TV Tonight.

She hated Blocky the cash mascot!

In her new book, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This, the former Today show host says what we all privately think…. Breakfast TV cash mascots suck.

Recalling one occasion, Wilkinson recalls listening to her voicemail and hearing the daily rundown for the show the next day.

“Psychologist Justin Coulson is joining us with advice on how to keep kids calm during end-of-school exams; Ray Hadley’s in for What’s Making News; Dr Joanna MacMillan with healthy food choices heading into summer; two judges from The Block Darren Palmer and Neale Whitaker are on to promote the show; Chris Urquhart is joining the circus just before the 8 o’clock news; and the cash mascots will be at the desk for the 7.45 Cash Call,’” she wrote.

“Those bloody mascots. I hated those stupid mascots.”

[Read More]

To Top