Roundup: Deb Knight reportedly axed, Doctor Who, Abbie Chatfield

Deb Knight

Patrick Smith, Daily Mail, Liz Hayes, Antony Catalano, Chemist Warehouse, ABC board members, SKY News Australia, Win Corporation financials


2GB host Deb Knight reportedly to be axed as ratings fall

2GB host Deb Knight is reportedly set to be axed from her role as host of the Sydney radio station’s afternoon show, reports News Corp’s Sofia Dmitrieva.

See Also: Confirmed: Deb Knight to depart 2GB Afternoons, taking on new role at Nine Radio

Nine Radio is set to announce the axing of the broadcaster, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

Knight, 50, was reportedly informed last week and was “shattered” by the news.

The seasoned broadcaster was the only female presenter on the conservative talk station.

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Abbie Chatfield speaks out on radio exit

Former radio host Abbie Chatfield said she has “never been happier” since quitting her radio show Hot Nights with Abbie Chatfield in August this year, reports News Corp’s Michelle Bowes.

Speaking on Network 10’s The Sunday Project to promote her new role as a travel ambassador for the NT, Chatfield was asked whether leaving the radio gig had been a difficult call to make.

“No. It was so easy. I was thinking about it for about a year. I was just really exhausted,” Chatfield responded.

“I’ve never been happier.”

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Business of Media

Former The Australian columnist Patrick Smith, winner of three Walkley Awards, has died

Patrick Smith, one of the greatest sports journalists Australia has ever produced, died suddenly on Sunday, reports The Australian’s Peter Lalor.

Former chief football writer and columnist for The Australian, he won three Walkley Awards (1997, 2002 and 2004) and was a regular recipient of the AFL Media Awards.

A fire-breathing fast bowler with Prahran in Melbourne’s grade cricket, Smith was born on January 20, 1952, and operated off the long run much of his professional life.

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Inside Google’s mothballed plans to quit search in Australia

Google’s threat to withdraw from Australia over laws that would force it to pay for new content was not an idle one – it even designed what users would see instead, internal emails filed in a major court case in the United States reveal, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

A series of emails, used as evidence in the Justice Department’s major antitrust lawsuit against Google reveal the lengths the search giant was considering going to in a bid to avoid negotiating deals with Australian broadcasters and publishers.

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Prince Harry, Elton John can take case against Daily Mail publisher to trial

Prince Harry, Elton John and five other high-profile British figures can have their lawsuit against the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper alleging widespread unlawful behaviour heard at trial, the High Court in London has ruled, reports the ABC.

Publisher Associated Newspapers (ANL) had sought at hearings in March to have the case thrown out, saying the claims that were brought in October 2022 were outside a six-year time limit for legal action.

The claimants accuse ANL, which publishes the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, of phone-hacking and other serious privacy breaches dating back 30 years.

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Veteran journalist reveals she’s “still” stalked by Today show fan

Veteran TV journalist Liz Hayes has revealed she continues to be stalked by a man who first began contacting her while she was a host on Today between 1986 to 1996, reports News Corp.

She said her experience was a factor is her decision to join 60 Minutes as a correspondent, a role she’s held since 1996.

Appearing in an interview with fellow reporter Tara Brown on Sunday night, Hayes, 67, said she is “still” stalked by the man.

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Guy Sebastian, David Beckham join Chemist Warehouse’s $600m-a-year party

Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne Park isn’t often the site of a drug-fuelled concert. It was on November 3, though, when 2000 people gathered for Chemist Warehouse’s annual upfront event for suppliers, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Backingham-Jones.

Guy Sebastian performed a few songs. 3AW host Jacqui Felgate hosted. David Beckham even briefly appeared in a video on-screen. It was big, flashy and slick, attendees told us.

Chemist Warehouse is the biggest media company you’ve never heard of, but its inner workings are something of a black box. Its billionaire owners, Jack Gance and Mario Verrocchi, rarely give interviews, and the company’s top-line corporate filings are the best look inside that we have.

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News Brands

Catalano offers to sell Canberra Times, other papers to Southern Cross

Australian Community Media executive chairman Antony Catalano has proposed selling some of his company’s most storied publications, including The Newcastle Herald, Illawarra Mercury and The Canberra Times, to Southern Cross Media in exchange for a major stake in the ASX-listed group, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

On Friday, Southern Cross confirmed reports in The Australian Financial Review’s Street Talk column that Catalano, who is backed by billionaire businessman Alex Waislitz, had formally approached Southern Cross with a counterproposal to a takeover offer from ARN Media and Anchorage Capital.

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Government should strike out its ability to hand-pick ABC board members, critics argue

Captain’s picks for the role of ABC chair and other board positions should be ruled out to strengthen the independence and integrity of the organisation, several submissions to a government review argue, reports The Australian’s Cameron England

Outgoing chair Ita Buttrose was a well-publicised “captain’s pick’’ by the former Coalition government for the chair role back in 2019, following the resignation of Justin Milne.

And while there is already an independent, merit-based process in place to recommend candidates for board roles, both the communications minister, in the case of directors, and the prime minister, in the case of the chair, can bypass the process as long as they explain their reasons to parliament in writing.

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ABC lodges complaint following comments on SKY News

The ABC lodged a formal complaint with SKY News Australia after Bronwyn Bishop said the public broadcaster was “aligning themselves with the policy of Germany’s national socialist party for the elimination of Jews” in its coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, reports TV Tonight

The former Liberal senator was responding to the SKY News host Sharri Markson’s claim that the ABC was “so biased, so one-sided, so anti-Israel”.

“They [Nazis] were against the establishment of the national homeland [Israel],” Bishop said on Thursday night.

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Financials of reclusive billionaire Bruce Gordon’s Win Corporation finally surface

Light has been shone on the until-now private financial affairs of billionaire Bruce Gordon’s regional broadcaster WIN Corporation, revealing that it has not been immune to the headwinds buffeting the sector, reports The Australian’s Cameron England.

The accounts of WIN, deputy chaired by the 94-year-old, Bermuda-based Gordon, have been grandfathered since the mid-1990s under changes to the Corporations Act at the time.

Since then the company has filed a scant handful of pages subsequent to the close of its financial year, of an “annual notice by grandfathered group’’.

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Lost Doctor Who episodes found – but owner is reluctant to hand them to BBC

For Doctor Who-lovers they are the missing crown jewels: lost episodes of the first series of the TV sci-fi drama, shown in the 1960s. But now film recordings of not just one, but two of the early BBC adventures, both featuring the first doctor, William Hartnell, has been found in Britain by amateur sleuths, reports The Guardian’s Vanessa Thorpe.

The episodes, one featuring the Daleks, would offer viewers a chance to travel back in time without the use of a Tardis. But the Observer has learned that the owners of the rare, rediscovered footage are not prepared to hand it over to the BBC, even as the clock ticks down to the 60th anniversary of the show’s launch this month.

Veteran film collector John Franklin believes the answer is for the BBC to announce an immediate general amnesty on missing film footage.

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