Business of Media
Tech giants could be forced to share secret news deals under Australia’s media bargaining code
Tech giants could be forced to hand over sensitive details on how they distribute news on their platforms to Australia’s competition watchdog as part of the federal government’s commitment to levelling the playing field for public interest journalism in the digital age, reports The Guardian’s Sarah Basford Canales.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will undertake periodic reporting into how platforms subject to the media bargaining code are distributing news content on sites and whether significant bargaining power imbalances between the tech giants and media organisations exist.
New information-gathering powers would also be legislated giving the watchdog the ability to force companies to hand over the sensitive commercial agreements made with media companies.
Seven Network’s Spotlight goes all in with Bruce Lehrmann
Network Ten’s Lisa Wilkinson came in for plenty of scrutiny before Federal Court judge Michael Lee in the past week, as Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation proceedings against the broadcaster continued, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.
Among the things of interest to Lehrmann’s legal team, led by Steven Whybrow SC and Matthew Richardson SC, was whether Wilkinson believed Brittany Higgins’ rape accusations against the former Liberal Party staffer before The Project broadcast them in February 2021 – and whether the journalist coached Higgins ahead of the interview.
Kerry Stokes concerned if emails were to be released under court ruling, sources say
Seven West chairman Kerry Stokes feared the implications of the potential release of thousands of emails between his private company, Australian Capital Equity, executives at Seven West Media and Ben Roberts-Smith’s legal team in the aftermath of the former SAS soldier’s failed defamation action against Nine Entertainment, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.
Sources have told The Australian that after Roberts-Smith unsuccessfully sued the Nine newspapers over articles relating to him and war crimes in Afghanistan, a case that ended in June, there was serious concern over a subsequent court ruling that 8600 emails – including those relating to the defamation case – be released to Nine.
Jackie O Henderson and Gemma O’Neill’s Fiji trip for fans postponed
Their “Besties” business launch, a VIP meet and greet with Gwenyth Paltrow, was a monumental success, but it seems Jackie O and her bestie Gemma O’Neill have hit a hurdle when it comes to their next big “experience”, reports News Corp’s Briana Domjen.
The radio personality’s business lifestyle venture with O’Neill saw fans fork out up to $2500 to get up close and personal with Paltrow.
But their next event seems to be struggling to fly.
Morry Schwartz installs ad executive as head of Schwartz Media
Less than a week after the resignation of Schwartz Media chair Morry Schwartz, the company has appointed advertising executive Ben Shepherd as its new chief executive officer, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.
Schwartz Media is the publisher of The Saturday Paper, The Monthly and 7am Podcast and is owned and was founded by Schwartz.
Shepherd will begin the role next year after the departure of long-time chief Rebecca Costello, who departed in November to join Guardian Australia.
The ABC’s new chair faces a big audience problem
Earlier this month, Kate McClymont rose early and prepared for interviews with the ABC’s Radio National and its Melbourne morning radio program. The Sydney Morning Herald’s investigative reporter had broken a major story that morning, reporting on allegations of indecent assault made against high-profile broadcaster Alan Jones, reports Nine Publishing’s Nick Bonyhady and Sam Buckingham-Jones.
Suddenly, the interviews were cancelled. The ABC’s legal team had decided the broadcaster had to independently verify her story, which had been years in the making.
Australian defamation law is notoriously strict and Jones, who denied the allegations, had threatened to sue. Everyone, including the Herald’s publishers Nine Entertainment, was being careful. But the decision is one of many that some of the national broadcaster’s staff point to when they complain of a timidity that has crept in at an organisation once known for – and which still has elements of – fearless reporting.
Coatsworth call-up on Today
Diary hears feathers are well and truly ruffled inside the Nine nest with the decision by management to call up Dr Nick Coatsworth to host the network’s flagship breakfast show, Today, reports The Australian’s Jenna Clarke.
Covid made a star out of the epidemiologist, who is now Today’s medical editor. Together with Today reporter and Nine Queensland weekend newsreader Mia Glover, Coatsworth will replace usual hosts Karl Stefanovic and Sarah Abo for the week from Boxing Day.
“Emma Lawrence will be doing sport and Richard Wilkins doing entertainment,” a Nine spokesman told Diary.
In search of cash, studios send old shows back to Netflix
For years, entertainment company executives happily licensed classic movies and television shows to Netflix. Both sides enjoyed the spoils: Netflix received popular content like Friends and Disney’s Moana, which satisfied its ever-growing subscriber base, and it sent bags of cash back to the companies, reports The New York Times’ John Koblin and Nicole Sperling.
But around five years ago, executives realized they were “selling nuclear weapons technology” to a powerful rival, as Disney’s chief executive, Robert A. Iger, put it. Studios needed those same beloved movies and shows for the streaming services they were building from scratch, and fueling Netflix’s rise was only hurting them. The content spigots were, in large part, turned off.
Eye-watering cost behind ABC shake-up after The Drum axed
The cancellation of a popular ABC panel show marks the latest costly move by the public broadcaster as redundancies top $20m, reports News Corp’s Nathan Schmidt.
The ABC announced on Tuesday that it would be axing The Drum after almost 15 years on the air, with the last show on Friday.
Australians react to final ever episode of cancelled ABC show The Drum
Australians have shared a mix of emotions after the final episode of a recently axed ABC show, with some begging for its return, reports News Corp’s Madeleine Achenza.
In her opening remarks during Friday nights program, host Julia Baird set the tone for the episode by saying: “As we near the end of a year marked by economic hardship and global conflict, we focus on hope.”
People took to social media to share their emotions and reactions to the ABC’s stalwart weekly program being scrapped.
Sunrise duo Natalie Barr and Matt Shirvington’s next project revealed
You might presume that Matt Shirvington’s experiences as a champion runner would hold him in good stead for hosting Carols In The Domain this year. After all, he knows what it’s like to perform for a live audience. “Yeah, but only for 10 seconds,” he says, as his Sunrise co-host Natalie Barr breaks into peals of laughter, reports News Corp’s Siobhan Duck.
Hosting the annual Christmas stage show poses a far greater test of endurance in the spotlight for Shirvington than a sprint trial.
And it seems that people love to remind him just how high pressure this gig is, asking questions such as, “Aren’t you daunted to walk out in front of thousands of people?”