Roundup: NACC loophole, Kyle Sandilands, Shandee’s Story

radio ratings kyle sandilands

New audiobook platforms, car dashboard radios, Geoff Hutchison, Heartbreak High, NRL

Business of Media

Whistleblower loophole in NACC

The national anti-corruption commission will be able to tap journalists’ phones and conduct raids on newsrooms, if an “issuing officer” rules that the public interest relating to such surveillance is greater than upholding the freedom of the press, reports News Corp’s James Madden.

There are fears that the apparent loophole in the NACC Bill could deter whistleblowers from approaching journalists, as there is no iron-clad guarantee that their anonymity will be protected under the legislation.

Below a subheading “Protection for journalists’ sources”, the Bill states that under the terms ­required for the issuing of a search warrant, the relevant officer “would be required to weigh the public interest in issuing a warrant, against the public interest in protecting the confidentiality of the identity of the journalist’s source”.

“The requirement to weigh up these competing interests in ­deciding a warrant application would ensure issuing must specifically turn their minds to the public interests associated with source confidentiality and the freedom of the press, and may only issue warrants where they are satisfied it is in the public interest overall.”

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New audiobook platforms are launched to rival Amazon’s Audible

A new audiobook platform which aims to create a “lovely, welcoming, independent bookstore kind of vibe” has launched, as audio giant Spotify also enters the fast-growing audiobook market, reports The Guardian’s Sarah Shaffi.

Spiracle features titles from a variety of publishers, but its focus is on independent presses and on offering a range of literary fiction and nonfiction, including books in translation.

Director Kate Bland said that the aim was not to offer “every single book that’s ever been made into an audio, but we are selecting what we hope is a really wonderful array of international books and translations”.

Spiracle produces a number of audiobooks itself in partnership with independent publishers, and operates on a subscription model, with users paying a monthly or annual fee for access. People can also buy titles on a one-off basis.

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Radio and TV industries confront prominence problems

The radio industry is concerned that digital services on new car dashboards are difficult to navigate and could seriously hinder listener use, reports News Corp’s Sophie Elsworth.

The issue of prominence among new technologies remains at the forefront of discussion in both the radio and television industries and the main problem is being able to easily access channels on connected devices.

The Australian government established the five-year digital platform services inquiry that runs until 2025 and the fifth interim report was due to be handed to the Treasurer at the end of last month.

It’s understood the peak body for radio, Commercial Radio Australia, led by chief executive officer Ford Ennals, is among those to have made a submission to the inquiry.

The main issue facing the radio industry is that new car entertainment systems and smart speakers now determine how radio stations are located.

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Shandee Blackburn’s former boyfriend John Peros launches legal action over true crime podcast

The man formerly charged and acquitted with the murder of North Queensland woman Shandee Blackburn is taking legal action against her sister and others involved in a true crime podcast about the death, reports the ABC’s Lillian Watkins.

Shandee Blackburn died on a Mackay street after being stabbed more than 20 times in the early hours of February 9, 2013.

Her boyfriend John Peros was accused of killing her, but a jury acquitted him of the charge following a 12-day trial in 2017.

In 2020, a coroner found Peros was responsible for Shandee’s death.

Peros came under the spotlight again through journalist Hedley Thomas‘ 2021 podcast, Shandee’s Story.

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Geoff Hutchison to step down from his ABC Drive show after five years

ABC Radio Perth’s Drive presenter, Geoff Hutchison, has told his listeners that this will be his last year behind the Drive show mic. Hutchison said he felt the time was right to step away from the show he has hosted for the past five years. 

“This is not retirement, it’s just time away – to talk a little less and think a little more. To travel and explore a world beyond the studio that has long been my home,” he said.

Geoff Hutchison

Geoff Hutchison

Hutchison joined the ABC in 1998 as a reporter on the 7.30 Report.  He then spent several years as the ABC’s Europe correspondent before returning to 7.30 Report in a senior reporting role.

An opportunity to fill in for ABC Radio Melbourne’s Jon Faine marked the start of Hutchison’s career in ABC Radio. He was the host of ABC Perth Mornings for more than a decade before spending another five years driving the Perth radio audience home.

“I’ve spent more than 40 years as a journalist and broadcaster and have had an incredibly fortunate time of it.  To be invited to tell people’s stories;  to contextualise the news and to be the conduit of important public conversations has been a privilege indeed.  I’ve also tried to make people laugh,” Hutchison said.

ABC Radio Perth manager, Sarah Knight said: “We love listening to Geoff on the radio but I respect his decision to call it when he feels the time is right for him.”

“Since joining us in 2006, Geoff has been such a central and distinctive part of ABC Radio Perth. We – and our listeners – will miss him a great deal. We will all greatly miss his insight, his wisdom, his humour and his good company.

“Geoff will be a hard act to follow but we will now start looking for who might replace him in the Drive slot next year.  We’ll announce that decision later in the year.”

Hutchison’s last broadcast will be on Tuesday 29 November.

Disability advocate Hannah Diviney slams Kyle Sandilands after explosive rant

Prominent disability advocate Hannah Diviney has slammed KIIS FM breakfast host Kyle Sandilands for an extraordinary on-air outburstin which he labelled colleagues “spazzes,” reports News Corp’s Mikaela Wilkes and Jonathon Moran.

It comes as station boss, ARN, remains silent on the scandal five days after the segment went to air, in which Sandilands also called bosses and co-workers “flops”, “losers” and ”dumb”.

“The ableist language on display from Kyle Sandilands is deeply disappointing and disturbing as is the failure of KIIS FM to step in and shut his rant down,” Diviney told The Daily Telegraph.

“ARN have demonstrated countless times how unwilling they are to hold him accountable for his actions or deliver consequences, which, to me, signals an unspoken agreement and complicity with his horrendously outdated opinions.”

Diviney has made headlines internationally over recent months for calling out some of the biggest music acts in the world for their use of ableist slurs in song lyrics.

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See Also: “Sack the lot of them” Q: How much does reporting of radio ratings matter?


Netflix reboot of Heartbreak High to return for a second season

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, however Sunday Confidential can reveal Heartbreak High is preparing for a second season, reports News Corp’s Briana Domjen.

While it hasn’t been announced yet, the decision is a no-brainer for Netflix execs, with the sexually-charged, reimagined Australian High School drama hitting No.6 on the list of most watched TV shows globally on Netflix.

In fact, it racked up 18,250,000 hours views in just the last week alone.

And the series is currently ranked in the top 10 most watched shows on Netflix in 43 countries around the world, including the US and Europe as well as Africa, Asia and of course, Australia.

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Sports Media

‘We’re always negotiating’: The NRL approach to media deal-making

The NRL will be forced to offer an enhanced product if it wants more money from pay-TV broadcast partner Foxtel, with National Rugby League chairman Peter V’landys confirming that the record-breaking AFL deal would not translate to any upward revision to the current rugby league deal, reports Nine Publishing’s Edmund Tadros and Mark Di Stefano.

Senior sources at News Corp and Foxtel have confirmed that no additional payments will be made to the NRL under the existing contract, which is set to run until 2027. The AFL’s new deal runs from 2025 to 2031.

V’landys said the NRL was working to make the league’s product more valuable to rights holders. He is confident the code will be able to take advantage of the new financial benchmarks set by the AFL’s media deal when the next formal round of NRL rights negotiations begins.

V’landys also denied the NRL sought tens of millions in extra payments from broadcast partner Foxtel to bring its existing rights deal closer in value to the one recently inked by the AFL.

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