Roundup: Ray Warren, new Comms minister, Media Code

Ray Warren calling time

• Plus Sheryl Sandberg, Sarah Palin’s libel trial, Bohemia Group, Nature, Blis, James Warburton, Andrew O’Keefe, Neighbours

Business of Media

Michelle Rowland sworn in as new Communications Minister

Michelle Rowland M.P. has been sworn in as the new Communications Minister under PM Anthony Albanese, reports TV Tonight.

Replacing Paul Fletcher, she has previously been shadow communications minister in opposition.

See More: Communications minister Paul Fletcher: TV reforms, media code, and the future

“It is an honour to be sworn in as Minister for Communications and to serve the Australian people under an Albanese Labor Government,” she said.

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Support for News Media Bargaining Code grows as 24 publishing minnows secure Google deals

A small group of 24 small Australian publishers this week secured a content licensing deal with technology giant Google, reports Press Gazette’s William Turvill.

The deal, brokered by a billionaire’s charity on behalf of members of the Public Interest Publishers Alliance, was facilitated by Australia’s divisive News Media Bargaining Code.

Advocates of the legislation, and those hoping similar laws are adopted in other countries, say this week’s deal should challenge “baseless criticisms” of the code.

They say the agreement, under which titles like the Greek Herald and Australian Jewish News will become paid partners of Google News Showcase, is proof that the code is not just for the benefit of large news companies.

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Sheryl Sandberg to step down as Meta COO after 14-year run

Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as Meta’s chief operating officer after a 14-year career at the company, the executive said on Wednesday, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan.

Sandberg, who will continue to serve on Meta’s board of directors, will be succeeded by Meta’s chief growth officer, Javier Olivan, according to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for five years. Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life,” Sandberg said in a Facebook post. “I am not entirely sure what the future will bring – I have learned no one ever is. But I know it will include focusing more on my foundation and philanthropic work, which is more important to me than ever given how critical this moment is for women.”

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Sarah Palin’s bid for new libel trial against New York Times thrown out

Sarah Palin’s request for a new trial in her libel case against the New York Times has been scuppered, with the judge ruling the former governor of Alaska failed to provide “even a speck” of evidence that the newspaper acted maliciously, reports The Guardian’s Gloria Oladipo.

On Tuesday, US district judge Jed S Rakoff ruled that Palin had failed to prove the newspaper had malicious intent when it published an erroneous 2017 op-ed that linked Palin’s rhetoric to the shooting of former US representative Gabrielle Giffords.

“The striking thing about the trial here was that Palin, for all her earlier assertions, could not in the end introduce even a speck of such evidence,” wrote Rakoff in his decision. “Palin’s motion is hereby denied in its entirety.”

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Bohemia Group is appointed as media partner of Sharesies

Bohemia, part of the M&C Saatchi Group, has been appointed as the media partner of Sharesies Australia.

Sharesies is an investing business with the mission to help create financial empowerment for all. The platform has over 550,000 investors across Australia and New Zealand, and makes it possible to buy shares and portions of shares from 1 cent.

Brendan Doggett, Sharesies Australia country manager, said: “Our focus is to make investing more accessible than ever. There are record numbers of Aussies entering the investing space, and it’s imperative that the industry rises to the occasion to help welcome these new investors in.

“At Sharesies, we’re focused on doing this with no minimum investment, and heaps of resources and support to help our investors learn as they go.

“The Sharesies platform is one of New Zealand’s most beloved brands, and we are looking to create the same experience here in Australia.”

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Nature promotes Emma Tommasini to partner

Nature has announced the promotion of Emma Tommasini to partner, effective immediately.

Tommasini joined Nature in 2016 as a senior consultant, where she progressed to the position of director before taking her latest role.

The newly appointed partner brings with her a wealth of strategic expertise in the FMCG and financial services sectors, while being highly adept in people leadership and management as well as having been pivotal in evolving Nature’s business capabilities.

Tommasini said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the partnership group at Nature. I’m proud to be part of an award-winning agency, filled with brilliant minds and a people-first culture. In my new role, I look forward to focusing on my passion area of people and people development, and being a strong leader for young women in the business.”

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Blis appoints Harrison Moncrieff as sales lead

Blis has announced the appointment of Harrison Moncrieff as sales lead for Victoria, South Australia and West Australia.

Moncrieff has more than 10 years of experience working at News Corp across agency groups and key accounts. Prior to that he also worked at JCDecaux and Starcom, where he worked as a media planner buyer.

Moncrieff said he was looking forward to becoming part of the digital advertising industry after a long career in the publishing and agency worlds.

The newly appointed sales lead said: “I’m really excited to join the Blis team and move to one of the leaders in location-powered advertising.”

“This is a great opportunity to work with clients and agencies in this evolving digital landscape,” he added.

[Read More]

News Brands

Seven boss urges government against content requirements for streamers

James Warburton, the boss of Seven West Media, has urged the new Labor government to not make the streaming giants invest in Australian content, warning it would only result in driving up the price to make local TV shows and films, reports AFR’s Miranda Ward.

“At Seven, we’re required to run 55 per cent Australian content between 6am and midnight. We don’t just accept this condition as part of our licence requirement, we celebrate it. In fact, it’s what makes us unique,” Warburton told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) lunch.

“But we don’t need artificial competition introduced into content creation and that’s why I’m calling on our government to not introduce SVOD quotas because it will simply drive up price.”

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Andrew O’Keefe reveals life inside rehab, declares this time will be ‘different’

Fallen game show host Andrew O’Keefe starts his day in rehab at 5.30am, rising in his single room cabin to face himself in the mirror and tell himself he’s a “good man’’, reports News Corp’s Janet Fife-Yeomans.

Then he makes his futon-style bed next to a small kitchenette and heads off for a 3.5km run, a gym workout or a boxing session before a hearty breakfast of eggs, chicken and broccoli.

This is life for O’Keefe, 50, for at least the next six months in court-ordered rehab, as he awaits a hearing over allegations he assaulted a former sex worker by grabbing her around the throat.

He opened up to The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday at the rehab camp, which is situated at the end of a dirt road on the state’s mid-north coast. He was released on bail by the NSW Supreme Court last week, on the condition he lives at the centre for between six and 12 months.

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Neighbours’ big finale under wraps as ending nears

The much-anticipated ending of long-running soap Neighbours has yet to be revealed as the show’s biggest day of filming took place on Tuesday, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Executive producer Jason Herbison said the finale — believed to feature Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, who returned to the show late last month — had been kept a tight secret.

“What I’ve read is not what happens which is great. It hasn’t come out yet,’’ Herbison said.

“How do you end a show after 37 years? It’s not an easy question. I had an idea, a little bit of a vision, quite a while ago and I’ve stuck to that vision. I felt in my heart how I wanted to end it, which is very warm and very celebratory.”

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Sports Media

Ray Warren’s mic drop sees rugby league lose its voice

“Trailing 12-10, Langer pushing it wide. Walters onward. Carne joins in. Floats the pass for Renouf. Renouf down the touchline. Beats one, gets it infield. Hancock gets it on. Queensland are coming back. Darren Smith for Langer. Langer gets it away. Here’s the Big Fella! Gets the pass on. Coyne! Coyne! Goes for the corner … That’s not a try. That’s a miracle!”

It’s the true mark of the man, the commentator actually, that you simply cannot read that passage of play without the unmistakable voice of Ray Warren booming in your head, reports SMH’s Andrew Webster.

Warren’s call for Channel Nine of Queensland’s last-minute try in the first game of the 1994 State of Origin series has become almost as legendary as the try itself, often mimicked in schoolyards and bars, offices and worksites, even now, after all these years.

It captures the magic of “Rabs” and Origin and rugby league and sport in one moment – and it is beautiful.

The music officially died at 3pm on Wednesday when the 78-year-old announced he had retired from game commentary, ending a 55-year career and leaving him stranded on 99 Origin calls.

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