Roundup: Jennifer Coolidge for Vivid, Vanity Fair’s scoop on Rupert Murdoch, BeReal

Jennifer Coolidge

Betr fine, NPR to quit Twitter, Bondi Rescue, The Spencer Gulf bulletin

Business of Media

News Corp’s Betr slapped with fine for 100-1 odds campaign

News Corp-backed wagering company Betr has been informed by the NSW gambling regulator that it will be fined for an advertising blitz promoting the company’s launch with an outlandish 100-1 odds offer, reports Nine Publishing’s Mark Di Stefano.

Betr will receive a $210,000 fine from Liquor and Gaming NSW for allegedly breaching anti-inducement regulations, according to a spokesman for the start-up company.

The Australian Financial Review revealed last October that Liquor and Gaming NSW had begun investigating the company for the advertising, which was splashed across the News Corp newspapers and websites during the 2022 Spring Racing Carnival.

The campaign gave 100-1 odds on all runners of marquee races and teams in sporting events, with customers able to bet a maximum of $10.

“We offered and advertised the $100-1 Melbourne Cup market in accordance with the law and entirely consistent with the guidance published by Liquor and Gaming NSW which clearly indicated this conduct was legal,” the Betr spokesman told the Financial Review.

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Succession meets real life: Vanity Fair’s inside scoop on Rupert Murdoch

This story is about an ageing conservative media mogul whose refusal to hand over the reins has splintered his family and triggered an all-encompassing battle for power. Sound familiar, asks Nine Publishing’s Thomas Mitchell?

But this is not a story about Succession, HBO’s acclaimed drama series, well, not really. It’s about one of the real-world inspirations for the show.

Fresh off the back of his abandoned engagement to Ann Lesley Smith, Rupert Murdoch is the subject of a revealing story in the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

Written by journalist Gabriel Sherman (author of Roger Ailes’ biography The Loudest Voice in the Room), it paints a curious picture of the highly private 92-year-old conservative media baron.

Speaking to those close to Murdoch and individuals within his organisation, Sherman uncovers the recent feuds that have eroded the empire, the similarities between Succession and the family that inspired it, and what Rupert really thinks of Donald Trump.

Here are the most intriguing, and occassionally bizarre, things we learned from the story.

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NPR to quit Twitter after being labelled ‘state-affiliated media’

National Public Radio (NPR) said on Wednesday it will no longer post fresh content to its 52 official Twitter feeds after the US organization was labeled as “state-affiliated media” by the social media platform, reports The Guardian’s Maya Yang.

“We are officially de-emphasizing Twitter across the organization,” NPR said in a statement, adding that it had made the decision after Twitter refused repeated requests to remove the “inaccurate label”.

Public TV broadcaster PBS also suspended tweets, citing the same reason. A PBS spokesman, Jeremy Gaines, told the Washington Post: “We don’t have any plans to return.” The broadcaster did not immediately respond to the Guardian’s request for a comment.

Twitter labeled both public media organizations as “state-affiliated media” before changing the wording to “government-funded media”. The BBC and Voice of America were also tagged.

Twitter was not immediately available for comment. Before a takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, the label was reserved for propaganda networks like Russia’s RT and China’s Xinhua News Agency.

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They’re over being real

Each day last year, a black-and-white notification appeared simultaneously on millions of phone screens. As if in a trance, many people paused their conversations or lowered their video game controllers. It was time to BeReal, reports The New York Times’ Callie Holtermann.

BeReal, a French photo-sharing app founded in 2020 that took off on college campuses, prompts users at a different time each day to take shots with their front and rear phone cameras. The app billed itself as an alternative to the artifice of social media: If Instagram had become a catalog of cosmetic enhancements and painstakingly arranged tableaus, BeReal’s feed full of limp salads, messy apartments and unflattering selfies appeared an attractive refuge. By July, BeReal had soared to the top of the iPhone app store.

The spell seems to have broken. Some users have discovered that seeing the monotony of their own lives reflected back at them is compelling for only so long.

When Night Noroña, 17, a high school student in Redding, Calif., downloaded the app in August, he liked seeing that his friends’ lives were less glamorous than the highlight reels they posted to Instagram suggested, he said. But after a few months, he tired of scrolling through nearly identical pictures of their laptop screens and deleted the app. Most of his friends no longer use it either, he said.

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Jennifer Coolidge announced to headline Vivid Sydney 2023

Film and television icon Jennifer Coolidge is heading to Australia, reports News Corp’s Bronte Coy.

The White Lotus star has announced that she will headline Vivid Sydney 2023 alongside the series’ writer, director and creator, Mike White, for an exclusive In Conversation event during the festivities.

Coolidge took to Instagram and TikTok on Friday to share the news in a short video.

“Hey Australia, it’s Jennifer Coolidge and I just got really exciting news. Mike White and I are coming to Sydney on June 10 – we’ll see you there!” the American actress said.

American Pie star Coolidge, 61, experienced a career renaissance in recent years after winning over millions of new fans as quirky multi-millionaire Tanya McQuoid in Binge’s White Lotus series.

She also recently appeared on the cover of TIME100, being named as one of the World’s Most Influential People for 2023.

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Aussie lifeguard reveals dark side of Bondi Rescue

For the most part, Bruce “Hoppo” Hopkins and his fellow lifeguards look like they are having an absolute blast keeping swimmers safe on Bondi Rescue, reports News Corp’s James Wigney.

And that’s absolutely true – up to a point. Hoppo, who recently clocked up 30 years as a lifeguard, says that while the globally acclaimed reality TV hit showcases the sunshine and good times on Australia’s most famous beach, there is also a dark side lurking just beneath the surface.

While to the naked eye it might look like he and his excellently named colleagues such as Harries, Maxi and Whippet are “just standing around or walking around the beach”, in reality the intense concentration for signs of danger requires a mental strength equal to the physicality they need to drag struggling swimmers from the surging surf.

“Most people go to an office job and if you make a mistake, you can fix the mistake up,” says Hoppo. “With us, it’s in the back of our mind that if we have a bad day then there’s a good chance someone’s going to die from our mistake.

“It looks like we’re all having fun, which we do, but it’s something that we can’t switch off because we’re looking after all these people’s lives and it only takes a second or two for that all to change.”

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Southern Cross ends last regional TV news bulletin in South Australia

South Australia’s last regional TV news service has been shut down. The Spencer Gulf bulletin spanned SA’s mid north and Eyre peninsula, reports TV Tonight.

ABC News reported editorial staff in Augusta, Whyalla and Port Lincoln were told this morning that last night’s bulletin was their last.

An SCA spokesperson told TV Tonight, “SCA confirms that it will discontinue its weekday News bulletin on 7TWO in the Spencer Gulf region of South Australia.

“Discussions with affected staff for redeployment opportunities within SCA are underway. The final local News bulletin went to air on 12 April 2023.”

There was no indication of a final bulletin when Madeleine Kerr signed off last night.

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