Roundup: Matthew Perry passes away, A year of Elon Musk on X, Boris Johnson’s new gig

Matthew Perry

Bruce Lehrmann, Password sharing, ABC, Neil Mitchell


Tributes pour in after Friends star Matthew Perry dies from possible drowning

Actor Matthew Perry, who starred as the wise-cracking Chandler Bing on the popular 1990s television sitcom Friends, died on Saturday after apparently drowning in a hot tub. He was 54, reports Nine Publishing’s Osman Faruqi.

The Los Angeles Times and TMZ, citing law enforcement sources, reported that the actor was found unresponsive in his jacuzzi after playing two hours of pickleball at Riviera near his home in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood of Los Angeles.

After returning from the game, he asked his assistant to run some errands. When the assistant returned two hours later, he found Perry unresponsive in the hot tub and called 911, TMZ reported, citing police authorities.

The LA Times reported that there was no sign of foul play, and that the Los Angeles Police Department’s robbery-homicide detectives were investigating the death.

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‘Friends’ fans react to the death of Matthew Perry

Fans who adored Matthew Perry and his character Chandler Bing are in mourning across the world after losing him in a tragic death, reports News Corp’s Merryn Johns.

In New York City, where the iconic TV show was set, emotional fans left tributes outside the apartment block in Greenwich Village where the show about the ups and downs of the world’s most famous friend group was set.

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Business of Media

Who’s suing who? The storm around Bruce Lehrmann explained

Bruce Lehrmann has returned to the national spotlight, revealed as the “high-profile man” charged with an alleged Toowoomba rape in October 2021, two years after the alleged rape of former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in Parliament House, reports Crikey’s Daanyal Saeed.

The ensuing court case sparked a nationwide reckoning on gender politics, and sparked a flurry of lawsuits between media companies, journalists, politicians and those at the centre of the saga.

Crikey looks at the complex legal web of who’s suing who, which cases have been settled and which cases are ongoing.

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More streaming companies set to clamp down on password sharing, following Netflix and Disney+

An increase in streaming giants clamping down on password sharing is expected in 2024, as companies look for ways to increase revenue, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

Andrew Northedge, consumer director at data and insights firm Kantar, said the move to stop people sharing accounts without paying any extra will eventually come to an end.

“I think it will come from the major global players, first and foremost, and some of the local players might follow suit,” he told The Australian.

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Twitter takeover: how a year of Elon Musk rendered the platform useless

Over the last year, we’ve watched with horrified fascination as Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, rained deathblow after deathblow upon a social network that once served as the global town square for the world’s most influential people, brands and institutions, reports The Guardian’s Pranav Dixit.

Since buying Twitter for $44bn in October 2022, Musk has fired thousands of staffers, including those working in content moderation, trust and safety, and public policy. He’s opened up verification, once reserved for notable users, to anyone that pays a $8 subscription fee, making it impossible to tell who’s real and who’s not. He’s blown up messaging, restricting the platform’s ability to privately text nearly any user to only those who pay. He’s booted journalists he doesn’t like from the service, labeled NPR as “state-affiliated media”, throttled traffic to news sites, reinstated previously-banned white nationalists, resurrected Donald Trump’s account, unleashed threats and harassment on former staff members, killed the best bots, feuded with the Anti-Defamation League, deprecated headlines, toyed with putting the whole site behind a paywall, installed a CEO who will forever be known for a disastrous first public interview, and destroyed one of the world’s most recognizable brand names – Twitter – by changing it to X.

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News Brands

ABC Canberra bureau chief moves on after 15 months

Editor of politics and ABC Canberra Parliament House bureau chief Michelle Ainsworth has left the broadcaster’s federal headquarters after just over a year in the role, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.

Deputy news director at the ABC, Gavin Fang, informed staff on Friday that Ainsworth will take up a new role as ‘knowledge and skills lead’ to head an audit, ensuring ABC staff have the tools to meet audience needs and wants in a changing media environment.

“In her new role, Michelle will be critical in developing and implementing the skills and knowledge training we need to meet those challenges,” Fang said.

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Boris Johnson to join GB News as presenter

Boris Johnson is taking a paid job as a presenter for GB News, joining Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage on the rightwing channel, reports The Guardian’s Rowena Mason.

The former prime minister was announced as a presenter on Friday. GB News said he would play a key role in the channel’s coverage of the UK general election and the US elections next year.

His salary was not disclosed, but he is likely to receive a six-figure sum. Rees-Mogg is paid £350,000 a year and the Tory deputy chair, Lee Anderson, gets £100,000 a year from the channel.

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‘It’s absurd!’: Neil Mitchell highlights the double standard between himself and Kyle Sandilands

Neil Mitchell has highlighted the double standard between himself and popular radio broadcaster Kyle Sandilands in relation to the laws covering media broadcasters, reports 3AW.

Sandilands’ private company “King Kyle” was paid to advise the NSW Labor Party during the election but didn’t have to declare it, while Neil says he would have to declare if he was in the same situation.

The 3AW Mornings host stated Sandilands had done nothing wrong, but said the laws around radio broadcasters are “absurd”.

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