Roundup: Sky News, Young Talent Time, Jock Zonfrillo, The Voice + more

Andrew Bolt

Mushroom Group’s new venture, Allison Langdon’s anger on set, and Olympics TV ratings

Business of Media

Michael Gudinski’s vision inspires new Mushroom company

Mushroom bosses will launch a new company that plans to make films with music legends Jimmy Barnes, Archie Roach and Mark Seymour, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

Long Play Music Films, a film distribution and production division focused on music documentaries and prestige concert films, will be announced by Mushroom Group in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski died in March.

Warren Costello, a long-time Mushroom executive and director of the new film company, said: “(Michael) was very focused on TV and film, and doing things outside of making music and putting on concerts.

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News Brands

Sky News hosts silent as the channel deletes unproven COVID-19 treatment videos

Some of Sky News Australia’s biggest stars have refused to weigh into the network’s decision to remove more than 30 videos from its platform featuring them criticising public health advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19, reports SMH’s Lisa Visentin.

Editors and hosts at Sky News have been furious over a seven-day ban from YouTube for breaching the tech giant’s COVID-19 misinformation policies, calling it an assault on free speech, censorship and an act of cancel-culture against conservatives. But the News Corp controlled broadcaster remained silent on Tuesday over its decision to scrub videos from its website that promoted drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 and suggested there was a political agenda as to why it was not being used.

Presenters Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and Rowan Dean featured prominently in a number of the videos, which have also been removed from the websites of News Corp publications The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier Mail, Adelaide Advertiser and, where they had been cross-posted.

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Watchdog to scrutinize Fox News host’s claim the N.S.A. spied on him

The office of the National Security Agency’s inspector general said on Tuesday that it would investigate a claim by the Fox News personality Tucker Carlson that the surveillance agency “has been monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an effort to take this show off the air,” reports The New York TimesCharlie Savage.

The agency has denied the allegation. The office of its independent watchdog, Rob Storch, announced that it was “conducting a review related to recent allegations that the N.S.A. improperly targeted the communications of a member of the U.S. news media.”

Carlson made his eyebrow-raising claim during his June 28 prime-time broadcast, saying he had learned of the matter from “a whistle-blower within the U.S. government.” The accusation carried echoes of conspiracy theories put forward by former President Donald J. Trump, with whom Carlson is closely aligned, about a so-called deep state out to get him.

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10 to mark Young Talent Time 50th with new TV special

Good news for generations who grew up with Young Talent Time with 10 confirming a TV special is in the pipeline after all, reports TV Tonight.

Young Talent Time: Unmasked comes 50 years after Young Talent Time burst onto the Aussie TV stage and earnt its place in our pop culture history,” 10 told TV Tonight in a statement.

“Hosted by Toni Pearen, whose childhood dream was to be on the Team, the special will re-live all the giddy highs, the backstage drama and heartbreak, and celebrate the moments that turned its young stars into household names.”

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Jock Zonfrillo fires back at critics, stands by his memoir

Celebrity chef Jock Zonfrillo has stood by his memoir Last Shot after international food icon Marco Pierre White and others questioned his recollection of parts of his life, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

And he has been backed by his publisher Simon & Schuster which said the book “should be read by anyone interested in food and food culture in Australia”.

“This is the story of my life. I’ve lived every minute of it, the highs and lows, and I stand by it,” Zonfrillo said in a statement.

“There’s no question that some of my book makes me look pretty unsavoury at the best of times.

“I carry the shame from those years, not pride, and it was a big obstacle for me to overcome when writing this book.”

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Allison Langdon loses it at Karl Stefanovic over throwback pics

Karl Stefanovic copped a mouthful from his Today co-host Allison Langdon after he shared some old photos of her live on air, reports News Corp’s Bianca Mastroianni.

The 46-year-old pulled the prank on Langdon, 42, by sharing photos from her old modelling days, much to her disdain.

Mortified, Allison screamed: “No! I hate you! You’re a dog!”

“Stop it!” she yelled as the panel including Karl, entertainment reporter Brooke Boney and newsreader Alex Cullen couldn’t hold back their laughs.

Allison was mortified by this photo. Picture: Channel 9

Source: Nine

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The Voice is singing a new ratings tune

Ratings success is the best revenge with Seven flying high after the first two nights of their rebooted version of The Voice after stealing the talent quest show from Nine, writes News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.

Featuring a fresh-ish coaches line-up of former Nine stars Keith Urban and Guy Sebastian, alongside new faces Jessica Mauboy and British pop star Rita Ora, The Voice claimed the top entertainment spot with more than 1.1 million viewers in the capital cities on Monday night.

Seven’s success with a leaner, shorter version of The Voice comes after Nine dropped the reality talent show because of its $40 million budget.

Seven have halved their production costs by cutting the flab of Battle Rounds and other confusing additions to the format made by Nine which resulted in fans leaving the show in droves. Last year’s grand final didn’t even crack the million viewers mark.

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Sports Media

NBC draws lowest summer Olympics ratings ever for Tokyo Games

Olympic athletes like Caeleb Dressel, Suni Lee, and Sydney McLaughlin helped the US win the most gold medals at the Tokyo Summer Games. For Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, however, the size of the audience that watched was underwhelming, reports the Wall Street Journal’s Lillian Rizzo and Suzanne Vranica.

The Summer Games drew an average of 15.5 million prime-time TV viewers over their 17-day run, the company said, the lowest audience for the Summer Games since NBC started broadcasting them in 1988 and a 42 per cent decline from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

NBCUniversal had expected a drop in viewership because of the challenges posed by Covid-19, with some athletes unable to participate and no spectators allowed in the stands. The Games were delayed a year.

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