Roundup: Scott Cam leaving The Block?, Twitter becomes X, Logies

scott cam the block

TikTok jumps on text, Hollywood strikes, Nick Hayden, Huw Edwards

Business of Media

Will Elon Musk’s X rebrand help Twitter soar to new heights?

When Elon Musk tweeted “the bird is freed” as he bought Twitter last year, it was presumed he was referring to liberating the platform from its figurative shackles. Now he has booted the brand out of the nest altogether, reports The Guardian’s Dan Milmo.

Musk’s announcement on Sunday that he was rebranding Twitter as X is the latest of many dramatic moves by the social media network’s owner. If Twitter isn’t worth the $44bn he paid for it in October, it is in danger of being worth even less now if it does away with its well-established brand name and avian logo (Musk said on Sunday it would soon be time to bid “adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds”).

But the emergence of X has long been in the works, no matter how rushed Sunday’s events seemed, with the helter-skelter feel of the rebranding exercise underlined by the choice of a crowdsourced logo based on an international encoding standard. And such has been the resulting splash, the X brand has at least made a loud debut.

Musk tweeted last year that buying Twitter was an “accelerant to creating X, the everything app”. The world’s richest man has referred to the social media platform being converted into a product akin to WeChat, an enormously popular Chinese app that allows users to perform multiple functions from messaging to ordering a taxi and paying bills.

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Watch out Twitter and Threads: TikTok jumps on text bandwagon

Another social giant is getting into the text business. TikTok is taking on Twitter and Instagram’s Threads with a new feature that lets users add text posts, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Alex Weprin.

“With text posts, we’re expanding the boundaries of content creation for everyone on TikTok, giving the written creativity we’ve seen in comments, captions, and videos a dedicated space to shine,” the company said in announcing the new feature.

TikTok, which has seen explosive growth in the U.S. thanks to its creative tools for shortform videos and extremely effective recommendation algorithm, is attempting to seize on an opening from Elon Musk’s Twitter, which has made a series of strange decisions in recent months since the billionaire acquired the site.

Over the weekend, Musk announced his intention to rebrand Twitter as “X,” with the Twitter bird logo disappearing Monday morning. Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Platforms Inc. responded by fast-tracking Threads, a text-based Twitter competitor built off of Instagram. Threads launched earlier this month and has quickly become the first viable competitor to Twitter in the text-based social media space.

Of course TikTok, with its growth and addictive quality, is betting that by integrating text directly into its feeds it can peel off many of Twitter’s users. It is also adding tools that users can use to enhance their text posts, including sound, stickers and background colors.

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Hollywood strikes mean steady diet of reruns, game shows and reality TV

Scripted television series premiering at a slower pace in the US. The “New Releases” and “Just Added” banners on streaming services piling up with reality shows, documentaries and international fare. Ninety-minute episodes of Survivor and 60 Minutes. A steady diet of Pat Sajak, Steve Harvey and David Spade hosting game shows in prime time, reports The New York Times’ John Koblin.

The fallout from strikes that have tens of thousands of actors and writers walking picket lines, along with industrywide cost-cutting, will soon be felt by Americans watching television — and it will be a shift that could continue well into next year.

For the better part of a decade, viewers have been inundated with dozens of new scripted shows every month, an overwhelming era in entertainment known as Peak TV.

The days of 600 new scripted shows a year are officially over and unlikely to return. Roughly a year ago, nearly every major Hollywood studio started hitting the brakes on new series orders amid fears of sliding share prices, a downturn in the advertising market and a new imperative to make streaming services profitable.

Then the walkouts began. The writers have been on strike since May 2, which effectively shut down roughly 80 percent of scripted television productions, according to some estimates. When the actors went on strike on July 14, they essentially brought the entire American scripted production assembly line to a halt.

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Nick Hayden departing as ABC Head of Entertainment

ABC Head of Entertainment is departing after 3 years in the role to pursue new opportunities, reports TV Tonight.

He has been at ABC for 7 years, having joined in 2016 as an Executive Producer across shows such as The House with Annabel Crabb, Tomorrow Tonight, Spicks and Specks, Tonightly, Whovians, Celeste Barber Challenge Accepted, Hack Live, and Fresh Blood.

As Head of Entertainment he has overseen Question Everything, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, Win The Week, Why Are You Like This? Ms Represented, Back To Nature, Frankly, Shaun Micallef’s Pagan Holiday Special, and the upcoming FWTFAQ.

Nick says, “ I’ve loved (almost!) every moment at ABC, particularly the content and the people. After seven years, the time feels right to move onto other things. For those interested in those other things, ask me in a month or two. For now, I’ll enjoy simply being an avid viewer of ABC.”

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News Brands

BBC says its Huw Edwards coverage was ‘proportionate’

The BBC has defended the amount of coverage it gave to allegations against news presenter Huw Edwards, calling it “proportionate”, reports Press Gazette’s Charlotte Tobitt.

The Sun broke the news of allegations relating to payments by a then-unnamed BBC presenter for “sordid images” on Friday 7 July. On the following Wednesday, Edwards was named by his wife Vicky Flint as the BBC presenter involved after being hospitalised amid a serious mental health episode.

Throughout, the BBC’s coverage of the scandal was under close scrutiny. On more than one night it led the BBC News at Ten TV bulletin.

The BBC also itself broke the news of further claims relating to messages sent by Edwards that allegedly made the recipients feel uncomfortable and threatened.

The BBC has now responded publicly to complaints it received that it got the balance wrong by giving the story too much coverage.

It said: “We believe our coverage of this story was proportionate, reflecting the significance of the issues raised. However, we realise not everyone will agree with the stories we cover and the prominence we give them.”

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Logies looks for a touch of class

Bump-in at the The Star began on on Sunday for the 63rd Logie Awards. Producers certainly have a big week ahead as Seven hosts its first Logies in 28 years, reports TV Tonight.

“We’ve got rehearsals on Friday and Saturday. In the room I think we’ve got about 15 cameras, a spidercam in the roof, we’ve got a jib hanging from one of the balconies,” Network Executive Producer for Seven, Digby Mitchell tells TV Tonight.

“We’ve got a camera up the front, which hasn’t been done before. It’s something they’ve employed at the Oscars. It’s a motorised camera that’s right up the front of the stage to get a bit closer to the action.

“It connects the viewer to what’s going on, on the stage, rather than feeling like we’re all at the back of the room watching on.

“It’s a huge Red Carpet”

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The Block addresses rumours about Scott Cam’s resignation

Channel Nine has denied claims The Block host Scott Cam is preparing to leave the renovation show at the end of this year’s 19th season, after an “insider” claimed he would be throwing in the towel following nine years in the gig, reports News Corp’s Rebecca Borg.

Earlier on Monday, media reports emerged that producers were “scrambling” to find a way to honour the veteran television presenter, ahead of his apparent shock departure from the show.

The insider told Yahoo! Lifestyle it is believed Cam isn’t signing any more contracts after his current one terminates, which was said to end prior to the 20th season.

“We want to celebrate while we have Scotty on contract and that may very well mean getting our skates on now,” the insider told the platform.

If Scott Cam was to leave the show following this year’s season, the source said he would be replaced with a “familiar face”.

However, when these claims were posed to The Block’s publicist, a spokesperson denied them, stating: “The report is not true”.

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