Roundup: Murdoch’s Christmas bash, AACTAs, Ali Plath joins Triple M

Lachlan Murdoch Fox Corp

• Daily Tele v China, New Junkee head, Mark Willacy, and Readly report

Business of Media

Jonesing for an invitation to Murdoch’s Christmas bash

It’s go time for the Christmas Party of the season which in some circles means only one fixture: Lachlan Murdoch and wife Sarah’s annual festive bash, report SMH’s Samantha Hutchinson and Stephen Brook.

Invitations went out last month for the ’do which will take place at the pair’s palatial home in Bellevue Hill and usually attracts the cream of News Corp Australia’s executives and chosen family because just like the Neapolitan Camorra, Holt Street membership is for life.

Regular attendees include News Corp’s Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller, Sky News Australia boss Paul Whittaker and perhaps even a surprise appearance from Melbourne-based Murdoch-lieutenant and published author Siobhan McKenna.

But there’s one high profile conservative stalwart who won’t be there: Alan Jones.

We are reliably informed the broadcast superannuant has sent his apologies to the usually unmissable event. And who could blame him?

[Read More]

News Brands

Daily Tele flubs China attack

As Australia-China relations plumb new depths, the contest of regional security perspectives has pitted Defence Minister Peter Dutton (backed in by the old Fairfax newspapers) against former prime minister Paul Keating, who’s never needed back-up singers, writes AFR‘s Joe Aston.

But for a child-like contribution, you can always count on News Corp’s metro tabloids.

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph splashed its Wednesday edition with the revelation of “China’s Dark Plot”, an exclusive on Beijing’s “cyber hit on our power network”. The tableau, rendered in Dulux customer favourite “Communist Red”, depicted Xi Jinping shaking a clenched fist and looming over a defenceless Queensland power station. It was a front page entirely free of the burden of nuance or sophistication. Or facts.

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Betoota Advocate publisher to lead Junkee following sale

The man behind popular satirical website The Betoota Advocate will become the publisher of youth news publication Junkee following its sale to independent digital and production company RACAT Group, reports SMH’s Zoe Samios.

Billboard company oOh!Media has sold its digital publication Junkee to RACAT, the publisher of Australian Geographic and producer of programs such as Hardball, for an undisclosed sum. The media division, which also runs publications Punkee and AWOL, was put up for sale earlier this year after it decided the websites no longer fit in with the broader strategic interests of the business.

RACAT – which is run by former Nine chairman David Haslingden – has hired media entrepreneur Piers Grove as publisher of the three websites. Grove also runs satirical website The Betoota Advocate and youth news publication The Daily Aus and is the chair and co-founder of Energy Lab.

[Read More]

Victorian man charged with threatening and menacing ABC journalist Mark Willacy

A Victorian man has been charged with threatening ABC ­journalist Mark Willacy and his family, reports News Corp’s Sophie Elsworth.

The threats were made in a voicemail message left for the ­investigative reporter last month.

Police on Wednesday said a 25-year-old man had been charged with making a threat to kill and using a telecommunications device to menace.

The threats included: “I hope your kids get Covid and I’m going to slit your old lady’s throat, ya dog.”

The Lara man has been summoned to appear before the Geelong Magistrates Court on June 29 next year. Willacy responded on Twitter, saying: “Many thanks to the ­officers involved in this ­investigation.”

The charges came two days after ABC’s Media Watch program criticised Willacy for his ­reporting on allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan.

[Read More]


TV shows take centre stage at the AACTAs gala

It was back in 2004 that indie film Somersault swept the board at the Australian Film Institute awards, winning a record 13 gongs, including for its stars Abbie Cornish (who went on to star in award-winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Sam Worthington (who went on to star in the blockbuster Avatar). Cate Blanchett flew in especially, and lauded the film’s director Cate Shortland (who went on to helm Marvel’s Black Widow).

Those were the good old days, report SMH’s Samantha Hutchinson and Stephen Brook.

Now the AFIs, rebadged the AACTAs, are a sad shadow of their former proud selves. In short, TV has taken over, with shows on the box firmly centre stage at the major event at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday night, which will be screened by Network 10. The bulk of the film award categories were relegated to an online event on Monday which indie filmmakers and producers went to watch at Petersham’s Public House.

Think less Cannes Film Festival official selection and more Love It or List It Australia, Australian Ninja Warrior and The Masked Singer. A peek at the awards schedule and the split between the virtual and gala events shows more than half the 25 award categories for television will be handed out on the Opera House stage.

Meanwhile, just six awards for film make the cut at Wednesday’s bash – while key categories including best indie film, best original screenplay, best cinematography and best costume design were shunted off to Monday’s event. Ellie and Abbie (& Abbie’s Dead Aunt) won the best indie film award.

[Read More]


Ali Plath to join Triple M 92.5 breakfast alongside Spida and Flan

Triple M has announced that Ali Plath will join the Gold Coast’s 92.5 Triple M Breakfast show alongside Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt and Sean ‘Flan’ Flanagan from January 2022 after the departure of Bridget ‘Bridge’ Brousard.

Plath has Queensland roots having grown up in Brisbane. She’s passionate about sport, has a love for great music and had previous stints in stand-up comedy. 

She’s got heart and guts, proven by her sporting history which has taken her from the touch footy field to the AFL oval and to the cricket pitch. Plath has played over many years at the Gold Coast’s home of touch, Owen Park, and last year represented the Gold Coast at the Queensland State Cup in its over 30s women’s team.

Plath’s touch achievements have seen her represent Australia from 1997-2013 at numerous Trans-Tasman tournaments and two World Cups in Sydney and Japan, where she co-captained the Mixed Open team that included the likes of rugby league legend, Benji Marshall.

Plath, who is a mother of four children, not only loves sport, she also isn’t afraid of the stage, leading her to make the Queensland State Finals of “Raw Stand-Up Comedy”, and also perform in the ensembles of Tasmanian productions, ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘We Will Rock You’, both playing at the Theatre Royal in Hobart.

Her radio history began following an “Intro to Radio” course at AFTRS in Sydney and she then landed on community radio at Bay FM in the South-East Queensland Redlands region. Plath entered the doors of Triple M Brisbane learning the ropes and how to work the panel. After earning her stripes, she landed a breakfast gig on Hobart’s 107.3 Triple M, alongside Dave Noonan in 2017. Now returning to the Coast for good, Ali arrives from her most recent breakfast show, on the Sunshine Coast’s, Zinc FM.


Readly reveals the top magazine reading trends of 2021

Readly has compiled a report detailing the top magazine reading trends of 2021. The latest insights show that 210,000 digital issues were read 120 million times on the platform with spiked readership in categories such as Home & Renovation and TV, Film & Cinema. During 2021 the number of bookmarked pages increased by 46% and the majority of these pages were recipes.

Categories where reading has increased the most during 2021 across all markets:

1) Running, Cycling & Fitness (32%)
2) Home & Renovation (30%)
3) TV film & Cinema (26%)
4) Cars & Motoring (26%)
5) Travel & Regional (25%)

Top 10 categories in Australia during 2021: 

1) Celebrity & entertainment – 304% increase
2) Home & Renovation – 200% increase
3) Interior Design & Architecture – 168% increase 
4) Craft & DIY – 160% increase
5) Food & Drink – 156% increase
6) Lifestyle – 150% increase 
7) Health & Wellness- 130% increase
8) Fashion & Beauty – 115% increase
9) Cars & Motoring – 107% increase
10) Tech – 74% increase

AU reader snapshot

• 74% of all titles read by AU users are foreign titles
• 26% of all titles read by AU users are back issues
• The most read category among Aussies is Celebrity & Entertainment.

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