Roundup: Mike Sneesby named as Nine CEO, Seven relocation, Disney + more

Business of Media 

No split says Costello as Nine picks Stan boss as CEO

Nine chairman Peter Costello says the media company’s board is united behind new chief executive Mike Sneesby and did not split along the old Nine-Fairfax lines on the appointment, as tensions between former directors of the two legacy businesses continue to bubble, reports AFR’s Miranda Ward.

Costello said Sneesby had the full support of the board as the new chief executive, and was “well placed to continue to drive Nine’s transformation as a digitally led business”. He praised Sneesby’s success in building up Stan – the Nine business unit he has run for the past 7½ years – as the top Australian streaming platform.

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Nine CEO Mike Sneesby’s appointment seals it: the future is streaming

The appointment of Stan founder and chief executive Mike Sneesby to run Nine Entertainment is a sign of the times for the media ­industry, reports News Corp’s Glenda Korpraal.

The future is visual and digital, driven by subscription revenues.

Sneesby’s success in founding streaming service Stan — a business now worth more than $1bn, with more than 2.3 million subscribers (second to Netflix’s 5.4 million in the Australian market) — seven years ago has propelled him to the top of the company that owns more traditional media in the Nine free-to-air television ­network and former Fairfax Media newspaper titles.

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The deal that changed new Nine CEO Mike Sneesby’s career

If it weren’t for a spivvy lawyer from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mike Sneesby might not be Nine Entertainment’s new chief executive, reports AFR’s Max Mason.

That’s not as weird as it sounds. At about 3am on August 27, 2014, Sneesby helped close a deal with Sony Entertainment, which would, among other shows, include Better Call Saul, a spin-off of critically acclaimed hit Breaking Bad, following the path of fictional lawyer Jimmy McGill into becoming his alias, the notorious and greedy criminal defender Saul Goodman.

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What Mike Sneesby must do to succeed at Nine

Mike Sneesby is inheriting a business firing on (almost) all cylinders. But if the incoming Nine Entertainment chief is to succeed at the top of what is now the nation’s largest media company, he will need to overcome some significant strategic challenges, reports SMH’s John McDuling.

The tensions on Nine’s board between directors from the former Fairfax Media and those from Nine’s legacy television business exposed in this masthead over the past week have obscured the reality that the 2018 merger between the two companies has been a resounding success.

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Nine CEO’s four big challenges

Nine Entertainment’s new chief executive, Mike Sneesby, is unique among the CEOs of media companies listed on the ASX because he does not answer to a powerful proprietor, reports the AFR’s Tony Boyd.

This is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, he doesn’t have a powerful and interventionist owner breathing down his neck such as Rupert Murdoch at News Corp or Kerry Stokes at Seven West Media.

On the other hand, he has to be a bulwark against the myriad political and commercial players who want to bully their way into shaping Nine’s media coverage across TV and newspapers.

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News Brands

Sunrise, Morning Show, 7News to relocate studios

CEO James Warburton has announced Sunrise, The Morning Show and Seven News will relocate by the end of 2022, bringing all of Seven’s Sydney teams under one roof, reports TV Tonight.

The decision is understood to be a cost-saving move away from CBD property leasing.

Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer, James Warburton said: “For the first time in 40 years, all divisions of Seven Sydney are being brought together in one place.”

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Disney CEO says pandemic has probably changed moviegoing forever

Walt Disney chief executive officer Bob Chapek said he believes there have been fundamental changes in people’s attitudes toward moviegoing, trends that will probably continue after the global pandemic passes, reports SMH’s Christopher Palmeri.

“The consumer is probably more impatient than they’ve ever been before, particularly since now they’ve had the luxury of an entire year of getting titles at home pretty much when they want them,” Chapek said at a Morgan Stanley media and technology conference. “I’m not sure there’s going back.”

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Golden Globes: Australian HFPA member says black representation “not really anything we focused on”

The controversy over the lack of Black representation at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the body that organizes the Golden Globe Awards, rumbles on as an Australian HFPA member admitted that the organization did not see the lack of Black journalists as a “problem” and that the body was previously not really “focused” on upping Black representation, reports Hollywood Reporter’s Abid Rahman.

In an interview on the Australian morning show Today, HFPA member Jenny Cooney was asked directly about the controversy and why, given the global discussion over the issue of Black and minority representation over the last year, the organization had not looked to change the makeup of its members before this year’s Golden Globes ceremony.

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Michael Gudinski honoured with state funeral

A state funeral will be held for legendary Aussie promoter Michael Gudinski following his sudden death, aged 68, report News Corp’s Cameron Adams and Kathy McCabe.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews spoke with his grieving widow, Sue, on Tuesday after the music industry icon passed away unexpectedly on Monday night.

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‘Television is capable of ripping you apart,’ says Liz Hayes

Having spent 25 years on the road for the critically acclaimed news magazine 60 Minutes, journalist Liz Hayes easily projects an aura of self-assurance. When the cameras stop rolling, she concedes, that is not always the case, reports SMH’s Michael Idato.

“I’ve reached a point where I do know I’m good enough, but I continually ask myself whether I’m doing a good enough job,” Hayes says. “It took me ages to get there because I didn’t come with a bucket load of confidence. I’ve never been that person who can say openly, I’ve got it. That’s not me.”

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Has Married at First Sight changed?

The scene: a psychologist’s office. A couple sit on a sofa, reports SMH’s Louise Rugendyke.

Mr MAFS: “I’ve changed. Things won’t be the same, I promise. Just give me a chance.”

Ms MAFS: “I just don’t know if I can trust you any more. You keep saying things will be different but all I see is the same schtick – the lying, the tantrums. We don’t even have anything in common. You won’t even wear socks and don’t get me started on that turtleneck.”

End scene.

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Sports Media

Will Eddie McGuire be missing from Fox Footy and Nine in 2021?

Eddie McGuire has retreated from public life with increasing uncertainty over when he will return to television, reports News Corp’s Scott Gullan.

Close friends and associates are concerned about the former Collingwood president with reports he’s in a “very bad way”.

Despite the enormity of what he’s dealing with, McGuire went to pay tribute to the family of another Melbourne icon, music legend Michael Gudinski, on Tuesday night.

Fox Footy is preparing for the host and commentator to be missing from the opening rounds, possibly for up to a couple of months.
There are also contingency plans being drawn for McGuire’s Wednesday night hosting gig on Channel Nine’s Footy Classified which his company Jam TV produces.

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