Roundup: Rupert Murdoch, Leigh Sales, President Stern, Sam Pang, Scott Cam

Leigh Sales

Potentially career-ending advice to News Corp journos, Leigh Sales doesn’t ‘give a stuff about anonymous morons on line’, Stern 2024

Business of Media

Former Disney boss Bob Iger says streaming is not ‘oversaturated’

Former Disney chief executive Bob Iger has told an audience of Australian investors there is still room for growth in video streaming, despite the punishment handed out to his former company and rival Netflix on Wall Street this year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Nick Bonyhady.

Iger, who led the House of Mouse for 15 years until 2021, famously pushed the $US175 billion behemoth into online streaming, a market pioneered and previously dominated by Netflix. And despite the move costing the company billions of dollars, it was initially applauded by investors. “We were being disrupted by others, so why not disrupt ourselves?” Iger said at the Macquarie Technology Summit on Tuesday.

“We had to tell Wall Street by the way, basically, don’t worry, we’re going to reduce our profitability by a couple of billion dollars, but this is what we’re doing. We were actually surprised pleasantly that they applauded the move. They believed that if anyone had the ability to do it, it was us.”

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The ACMA urges broadcasters to expand codes to cover online services

Australia’s media regulator is urging broadcasters to update their codes of practice and develop new rules to cover online services such as live-streaming and catch-up TV, as data shows more Australians are watching on-demand content than ever before, reports Nine publishing’s Lisa Visentin.

In a position paper released on Wednesday, the Australian Communications and Media Authority concluded the nine broadcasting industry codes covering free-to-air and commercial TV and radio were out of date, calling for them to be expanded to cover online platforms.

Many of the industry codes had not been updated for years, ACMA found, and “most current codes of practice do not apply to online content, even when that content appears on a broadcaster’s live-streamed, catch-up or on-demand platform”.

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Rupert Murdoch: Potentially career-ending advice for News Corp journos in podcast

The weekly media industry podcast The Sounding Board from SEN is a must-listen for many people in the industry. People listen to hosts Craig Hutchison and Damian Barrett for different reasons though. Followers of Hutchy and Damo listen for their thoughts on topics of the week and to get insights about their respective businesses. The growing SEN empire, sports ownership and media rights from Hutchy, and an AFL insider’s view, Nine, Triple M and industry cynicism from Damo.

The new episode went up yesterday and is even more compelling than most weekly episodes. There are plenty of intriguing topics from their thoughts on the evolving Lisa Wilkinson story to Damo having some fun with Hutchy about how The West has been treating the newish owner of the Perth Wildcats. As Damo warmed to his topic, Hutchy calmed proceedings noting, “I’m not quite ready to laugh about it yet.”

However, the takeaway many might remember is the discussion about the divorce of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall.

Noting that the separation never got a mention in any News Corp newspapers, Hutchy noted there was an opportunity for an enterprising News Corp journalist to track down the proprietor’s phone number and approach him directly. Listening to Hutchy recreating the call of a young News Corp journalist (which he used to be) is well worth your time.

Hutchy did initially warn that it could go horribly wrong and the caller could lose their job.

After both expressed an opinion that could be a very bad idea, they started to warm to their plan as expressed in their Spin City segment, finally settling on, “You wouldn’t get it past an editor, but you might be a sneaky chance to get it past Rupert.” Proceed with caution!

Listen to The Sounding Board here.

Mia Freedman discovers why Leigh Sales really quit in No Filter

There was plenty of name-dropping in the latest episode of Mia Freedman’s popular No Filter podcast. Titled ‘Why Leigh Sales really quit’, the episode starts with Freedman telling how Sales has appeared more than anyone else on the podcast and then reveals how they two have become very good friends.

Sales then soon started revealing her friend list contained many people who have revealed themselves as fans of her nightly TV show. Including the recent Gold Logie winner.

“I said to Hamish you will have to come over for dinner sometime,” said Sales at one stage.

Sales did admit though, “I always assume that people don’t know who I am because that would just be up myself.”

Things got better though when Freedman asked the single mother, “How does someone date Leigh Sales. What sort of guy has the confidence to ask you out?”

When the title of the podcast was finally addressed, 30 minutes into the interview, Sales said she wasn’t quitting because of Twitter trolling. The real reason is less exciting, and as Freedman noted, less worthy of a headline.

“The reality is that I do enjoy my [current job], but I said at the start it felt like a 10-year job and I have now been doing it for nearly 12 years. People have a hard time believing I just want to have a break and see what turns up. I keep reading erroneous reports about what I want to do.”

Sales was clear she is not, and has never pitched, hosting a talk show. She also noted a recent News Corp feature that carried a headline about trolls “was a complete fabrication”.

“I really don’t give a stuff about what some anonymous moron thinks about me online,” said Sales to make it clear.

Sales explained she had a list of things she wanted to do and the clock is ticking (she is 49) and she possibly won’t have enough time to do them all.

“It literally is as simple as that.”

Listen to No Filter here.


Chris Dawson trial: Podcast was not a Hollywood pet project

Journalist Hedley Thomas has fiercely rejected suggestions he sought to “poison” the evidence of witnesses at former teacher Chris Dawson’s trial for the alleged murder of his wife Lynette, reports The Australian’s David Murray and Claire Harvey.

Thomas spent his second and final day in the witness box rebutting questions from the defence that suggested he tried to influence people against Dawson, and that he had invoked Hollywood interest and the name of actor Hugh Jackman to encourage sources to speak to him.

Thomas said those who spoke to him for his 2018 podcast The Teacher’s Pet were intelligent people who had their own thoughts.

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See also commentary from Hedley Thomas in The Australian:

Email that sparked a journalism-led pursuit of justice

Chris Dawson’s trial for murder is almost over. Whatever the verdict, the trial of journalism – for seeking to do what the criminal justice system had failed to do – may continue for a while. But as more journalists discover evidence with deeply researched podcast investigations of unsolved cold cases, defence lawyers should come to a realisation. We’re not going away. And that’s a good thing.

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Deadpan and self-deprecating, Sam Pang is TV’s great disruptor

The post-Logies headlines focused on the outstanding newcomer award for ABC News Breakfast’s Tony Armstrong and the speech by The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson when she accepted the award for outstanding news coverage. But, in his customary style, making a quieter yet equally noteworthy contribution to the event was Sam Pang, writes The Age’s Debi Enker.

A regular attraction on 10’s Have You Been Paying Attention? and Seven’s The Front Bar, and a co-host of Nova’s [Melbourne] breakfast radio show.

For eight years he co-hosted SBS’s coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest with Julia Zemiro, initially noting that he knew nothing about the event. But he proved an ideal foil for Zemiro, who’d followed the glitter-fest since childhood. When they retired from the role in 2017, he said: “There are only so many sequins, burning pianos, power ballads and singing Russian grannies one man can celebrate in a career.”

In 2018, when he did the podcast Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever! in the lead-up to and during the World Cup, he also professed not to really know why he was there. Cilauro and Kavalee were the experts, he maintained: he just turned up and deferred to them on all matters soccer-related.

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Scott Cam’s ex-home a sad ‘mausoleum’ that should be next The Block project

To locals it’s known simply as “the mausoleum” – Scott Cam’s once proud childhood home that has sat sadly, and eerily vacant for almost seven years, reports News Corp’s James MacSmith.

But its very colourful history and blue-chip location could make me it an ideal location for the next series of Cam’s hit TV show The Block.

Sold by Cam’s mother Gay in 2015 for $2.6m, the three-bed home in an idyllic seaside location in Sydney’s sought-after Eastern Suburbs sat largely abandoned for years.

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Sports Media

BBC diversity group rails at decision to keep Michael Vaughan on commentary

An in-house diversity group at the BBC has sent an extraordinary email to staff at the corporation criticising as “totally inexcusable” the decision to employ the former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan as part of its team covering the third Test against New Zealand at Headingley, reports The Guardian.

The email – written by BBC Sport’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic group and sent on Monday morning – said the decision to allow Vaughan to commentate on the game for Radio 5 live was “totally inexcusable” and “a shocking miscalculation” that had caused “excruciating, overwhelming and unbearable” distress among many members of staff.

Vaughan was dropped from coverage of the Ashes last November after he was accused by several players of making a racist comment before a Yorkshire game in 2009. He has repeatedly and categorically denied doing so.

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John McEnroe and Sue Barker criticised over on-air support for jailed Boris Becker

John McEnroe and Sue Barker were criticised on Monday after expressing support for Boris Becker during the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage, reports The Guardian.

The six-time grand slam champion was jailed for two and a half years in April for hiding £2.5m worth of assets and loans to avoid paying debts.

Becker, 54, was part of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage last year, but is now serving his sentence in Huntercombe prison, near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire

McEnroe said during commentary: “Boris, we love you. We miss you, man.” Barker, who is anchoring the coverage for the BBC for the last time, added: “We do indeed.”

Viewers criticised the BBC for allowing the pair to “send greetings” to the “convicted criminal”, but the broadcaster declined to comment.

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Howard Stern running for president to overturn Supreme Court: ‘I’m not f—ing around’

Howard Stern announced on his SiriusXM radio show that he is “not fucking around” when it comes to possibly running for president in 2024, reports Variety. The radio personality said his potential presidential run hinges on Donald Trump also running in 2024, as Stern said, “I’ll beat his ass.”

“The other thing is, if I do run for president, and I’m not fucking around, I’m really thinking about it, because the only other thing I’m going to do is appoint five more Supreme Court justices,” Stern added. “I’m not afraid to do it. As soon as I become president, you’re gonna get five new Supreme Court justices that are going to overturn all this bullshit.”

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Mediaite reported:

Howard Stern said he wants to run for president following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

On the Monday edition of The Howard Stern Show he began discussing the idea with co-host Robin Quivers.

“I said to Robin, and I hate to say this, but, but I said to her, ‘I’m actually gonna probably have to run for president now,’” Stern said.

“I was trying to push him into it earlier. Now he’s reluctantly stepping up,” Quivers said.

Stern began to talk about his plan to abolish the electoral college as soon as he took office. “The only reason I would run and I start — I went into a long-winded speech over the weekend to Robin about how I am going to do the very simple thing. That’ll set the country straight one vote, one person, no more of this Electoral College, I’m getting rid of it. And then Robin said, ‘Well, can you do that as president?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, let’s find out!’”

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