Roundup: Neighbours, Government crackdown on Twitter, Vice


Linda Yaccarino, Forbes Australia, Nicole Chvastek, Ali Clarke, Dancing with the Stars

Business of Media

Australian government threatens tougher regulation as eSafety commissioner decries Twitter’s ‘sewer rats’

The Australian government would consider a tougher crackdown on Twitter if the company fails to comply with online safety laws and takedown notices, the communications minister has said, reports The Guardian’s Josh Taylor.

In February, Michelle Rowland wrote to Twitter’s vice-president for trust and safety, Ella Irwin, expressing concern over the axing of the company’s Australian presence after billionaire Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform. Her concerns centred on the impact it would have for government agencies and law enforcement communicating with the company.

Guardian Australia can reveal that Rowland has never received a response from Twitter, and said on Tuesday that the government did not rule out more regulation of the company.

“I could not be clearer that we do not rule out the potential for further regulation in this area, or at least enforcement of the existing regulatory regime, in the event that they are failing to live up to the expectations of industry.”

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Linda Yaccarino’s next act: Convincing brands to buy Elon Musk’s Twitter vision

Five years ago, just days before she led NBCUniversal’s upfront pitch on the stage of Radio City Music Hall, Linda Yaccarino addressed the crowd at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Video Symposium in New York City, report The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan and Alex Weprin.

In a critical address, she took aim squarely at the big social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube over data breaches and brand safety concerns. “We are feeling really great about where NBCU is. We feel confident talking about where we are, because there are a lot of companies feeling a lot worse,” Yaccarino, then NBCU’s top advertising and partnerships executive, told the crowd at Convene in midtown Manhattan. “It is no secret that a lot of our social media friends are under quite a microscope — some of us would say, under fire. It is a classic case of, ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool clients and consumers over and over again, and something needs to be done about it.’”

TV and NBCUniversal, Yaccarino argued, are “premium content.” The stuff on the platforms of the tech giants? Not so much. “It is something we don’t have to think about, and our clients don’t have to think about,” she said. “But for clients that don’t have this content, or the brands that have no idea what their ad is running next to, unfortunately this time is cause for great alarm.”

Now, Yaccarino finds herself in the position of running one of those social media giants. She will be doing so as advertiser concerns around brand safety are at seemingly an all-time high, with those concerns being exacerbated by the unpredictable behavior of Twitter’s leader, Elon Musk.

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See Also: NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino named new Twitter CEO as Musk steps down

Vice Media gets court sign-off for bankruptcy loan

Vice Media received court permission on Tuesday to borrow $5 million to fund its bankruptcy, saying it will use the money in part to pay freelancers and prepare the company for a sale, reports ReutersDietrich Knauth.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Mastando at a hearing in Manhattan said he would allow Vice to borrow additional money from its existing senior lenders, a group that includes Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital.

Mastando said he would approve the first $5 million of the loan within a day, and that he would consider Vice’s request to borrow an additional $5 million in June.

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Vice is going bankrupt, BuzzFeed News is dead. What does it mean?

In a seminal 2009 essay, Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable, the brilliant New York University professor Clay Shirky made the point that journalism, as we had known it for decades, was finished – and for good reason, reports The Guardian’s Margaret Sullivan.

The reason, in a mere two words: the internet.

And he certainly proved right. With a few notable exceptions, newspapers – once the core of American journalism – have been dying right and left.

Now, big digital media-news companies, once the great hope of post-print news, seem to be going in the same direction. Down, down, down.

In recent weeks and months, digital newsrooms have taken huge hits. BuzzFeed News suddenly shuttered, leaving scores of extremely talented journalists without employment (and lest you think of BuzzFeed as strictly a place for viral videos about cats, recall that its news division did plenty of prize-winning journalism over the years). Vox Media recently laid off 7% of its staff and raised money based on a valuation about half of what it was worth in 2015.

Then, on Monday, another major blow: Vice was filing for bankruptcy. A New York Times report was unsparing, calling Vice a “decayed digital colossus”, and noting that at one point it was thought to be worth a now-unfathomable $5.7bn.

It’s just as Shirky predicted it more than a decade ago, as he compared the coming of the internet to the arrival of Gutenberg’s printing press. Communication was utterly upended.

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Forbes Australia cancels wealth summit seven months after launch

Forbes Australia has cancelled its marquee “future of wealth” summit to be held in June at the MCG, months after an events business linked to the publication’s founder was placed into administration, reports Nine Publishing’s Mark Di Stefano.

Company founder Michael Lane launched an Australian version of the eponymous business masthead at the end of last year, telling advertisers the publication aimed to put on several big-ticket summits each year.

The now-cancelled summit was sponsored by National Australia Bank and JBWere, with the Forbes Australia website saying speakers included private developer Tim Gurner, WiseTech’s Richard White and AirTree co-founder Daniel Petre.

Forbes Australia said it put a “pause” on the event because of timing, adding the company had recently hosted a women’s summit in March.

“The reason is that after the huge success of our Forbes Australia Women’s Summit in March – a sell-out event with over 1600 attendees – and the growing interest in our Forbes Business Summit in Q4 this year, we believe we are too early to market with the Wealth Summit,” a spokeswoman said.

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ABC radio presenter Nicole Chvastek off air after lodging bullying claim

The ABC regional broadcaster Nicole Chvastek, who disappeared from the airwaves several weeks ago, has lodged a bullying claim against the ABC in the Fair Work Commission, reports The Guardian’s Amanda Meade.

As host of Victoria’s regional statewide drive program for more than 11 years, Chvastek has been missed by some loyal listeners who have been petitioning the ABC to bring her back. The drive show reaches every regional area across Victoria, southern New South Wales and eastern South Australia.

Guardian Australia asked ABC radio two weeks ago where she was and a spokesperson said she was “on leave until mid-May”.

But on Tuesday an ABC spokesperson confirmed she was on leave pending a Fair Work Commission claim.

Chvastek’s lawyer, Mark Comito of Stal Employment Lawyers, said his client “did not take lightly” the decision to launch legal action against the ABC but he could not go into detail about her claim.

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Mix 102.3 star Ali Clarke is searching for her biological father

Radio personality Ali Clarke has broken down after bravely revealing on air she has never known her biological father, reports News Corp’s Miles Kemp.

The Mix 102.3 breakfast show star was initially composed as she announced to listeners and co-hosts Max Burford and Shane Lowe on Wednesday that it was one of her biggest secrets.

Clarke said that she was determined to find out his fate – but was armed only with her mother’s memories, one photo, a name, and her paternal grandmother’s address in England, from where presents had, for a time, been posted.

A tearful Clarke described her fears that any effort to find her real dad would affect her mother, Mary Carle, and beloved stepfather Rod, who walked her down the aisle at her wedding with Crows AFLW coach Matthew Clarke.

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Amazon came to 10 right after the Neighbours finale

Amazon expressed interest in picking up Neighbours almost immediately after its very sentimental finale screened last year on 10 and Channel Five (UK), reports TV Tonight.

Speaking recently at Screen Forever, Daniel Monaghan, Senior Vice President, Content & Programming, Paramount ANZ said, “We were always openly said when Neighbours came to a close last year. We’d partnered with Channel Five for such a long time but we weren’t able to find a partner to continue to show, which we were devastated about until that wonderful day last year -not too long after after the epic finale went to air- we found out that the Amazon Freevee was interested.

“It’s a really good partnership. I think Freevee will do a great job around the rest of the world and we’ll have that Australian premiere on 10 and then it will it will play out on 10Play and (Prime Video) as well, after a period of time.”

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Water damage delays Dancing with the Stars

Production of Dancing with the Stars has been delayed this week due to water damage at the venue, Quay Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, reports TV Tonight.

A Seven spokesperson told TV Tonight, “Due to water damage at the venue over the weekend, filming on the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars has been temporarily delayed. Production will resume later this week.”

The first of two events this week was to film yesterday, but both have now been rescheduled to Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

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