Roundup: Gaven Morris’s next move, AACTA awards superspreader, Alan Jones

Gaven Morris

• Elizabeth Farrelly, Juanita Nielsen, and Gabba power outage

Business of Media

Ex-ABC news boss Gaven Morris back in business with digital transformation division at Bastion

Former ABC news director Gaven Morris has wasted little time finding a new role, clinching a deal to launch a digital transformation and strategy consultancy at Australia’s biggest independent advertising firm, reports News Corp’s John Stensholt.

Morris will head Bastion Transform as chief executive, agreeing to the appointment only two weeks after leaving ABC after 13 years at the public broadcaster, including the last six as director of news, analysis and investigations.

Bastion Transform is the newest division of the fast-growing group led by chief executive Jack Watts and his brother Fergus.

[Read More]

Former Fairfax CEO Hywood argues against media royal commission

Former Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood has dismissed the need for a judicial inquiry into diversity of media ownership and says policy fixes for issues that threaten the viability of traditional players are more urgent, AFR’s Miranda Ward.

“Theoretical debates around diversity, that’s a long-gone issue, there’s very practical issues around how we maintain high quality local content,” said Hywood, who is now the chairman of free-to-air television lobby group Free TV.

A Labor and Greens majority Senate committee on Thursday recommended a judicial inquiry with the powers of a royal commission be established after finding Australia’s media laws are “weak, fragmented and inconsistent”, with the recommendation dividing the Labor Party.

[Read More]

Fears that the AACTA awards may have turned into a superspreader event

The star-studded AACTA awards could turn out to be a Covid-19 superspreader event, after a food and beverage operator has tested positive to the virus after working at the Sydney Opera House during the Awards night, reports News Corp’s Briana Domjen.

The Sunday Telegraph understands the employee was infectious while working at Wednesday night’s event, which was attended by some of the biggest names in television including Rebel Wilson, actor Simon Baker, Lisa Wilkinson, Sarah Snook, Sam Neill, Rachel Gilbert, Deborah Mailman, Eric Bana and Russell Crowe.

Rebel Wilson was also in town from LA for the event, with the Hollywood actress granted an exemption from the mandatory 72-hour quarantine for international travellers so she could attend the glitzy event.

The Sydney Opera House confirmed news of the positive Covid-19 case on Saturday.

[Read More]

News Brands

Elizabeth Farrelly departs The Sydney Morning Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald’s opinion columnist Elizabeth Farrelly will no longer publish a regular column, marking an end to more than three decades of working for the masthead, reports SMH‘s Zoe Samios.

The decision was made by The Herald’s editor Bevan Shields after Farrelly failed to disclose that she had registered as a candidate for the Labor Party in the Strathfield local government elections when she wrote a piece criticising Liberal and independent councillors in the electorate. An editor’s note declaring her registration was added to the piece last Friday.

[Read More]

Juanita Nielsen’s former partner warned the ABC of editorial failings in crime series

The former partner of journalist and activist Juanita Nielsen warned the ABC about editorial failings in their investigation into her 1975 disappearance and suspected murder but the broadcaster ignored them, he claims, reports News Corp’s Sophie Elsworth.

David Farrell, 76, who was Nielsen’s partner for seven years up until her disappearance, told The Australian he sent a producer working on the program a text message on August 20 this year, the month before the TV series, Juanita: A Family Mystery aired, to warn of the problems he had with retired lawyer John Innes’ claims he knew who killed her, where she was killed and how much was paid to kill her.

After listening to the eight-episode ABC podcast, Unravel True Crime: Juanita, Farrell said he was worried the podcast team desperately wanted a “scoop, ratings and probably a notch on their CV belt”.

[Read More]


Jones now at YouTube’s mercy

Octogenarian shock jock Alan Jones was all smiles and optimism on Friday as he unveiled his bold new media venture. Which is, essentially, his old 2GB show, but aired every evening on social media, reports AFR‘s Myriam Robin.

He had to come back, he told the assembled journalists, as someone had to do something about the self-censorship plaguing the nation.

“This is what Australia is desperately needing now,” Jones said. “I will say things that sometimes other people would be scared of saying. I will be saying what Alan Jones thinks; I won’t be responding to legal advice.”

Of course, his Direct to the People program/crusade is to air on Meta’s Facebook and Google’s YouTube, which will soon have him yearning for the days he reported to Paul ‘Boris’ Whittaker.

Just think: what happens the next time Jones questions official coronavirus death tolls; says there’s no evidence to support the use of face masks or lockdowns; or calls COVID-19 “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public”?

[Read More]

Sport Media

Gabba’s double power failure explained and why risk will continue

Risks of power failure inherent in the Gabba’s broadcast compound set-up are unlikely to be improved before the next Ashes series, as cricket authorities await more detail on plans for the stadium’s major upgrade to host the 2032 Olympic Games, reports SMH‘s Daniel Brettig.

Sources have told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that the Gabba is the only major stadium in Australian cricket where the mains power supply at the ground is not sufficient to fire up the vast array of broadcast trucks and devices needed to beam pictures around the world.

That’s because the base power in the precinct is required to supply the Gabba’s light towers – one of which infamously went down during a Big Bash League match in 2019 – and the ground itself.

As a result, broadcasters draw their primary power supply from a huge, diesel-fuelled generator hired for the Test match, with back-up power meant to be derived from a back-up generator.

However, on day four of the Test match, the failure of the primary generator fused with the back-up generator, causing both to go down simultaneously and resulting in the total or partial loss of broadcast pictures and DRS for nearly 30 minutes.

NEP, the company that provides the outside broadcast trucks and other facilities to Fox and Seven, has sought an explanation from the company that provided the generators.

[Read More]

To Top