Roundup: Mike Sneesby on gambling ads ban, Instagram news, BuzzFeed lay offs

Mike Sneesby nine media code gambling ads

Hubbl, Disappearance of TV star and his partner, AI, Dating shows, Australian Sports Commission awards

Business of Media

Foxtel hopes new Hubbl bundle will lure back customers

Foxtel is launching a new streaming bundle product, bringing together free-to-air television and streaming services, as the company fights a steady decline in traditional set-top box sales and plateauing digital subscriptions, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.

The News Corp-owned company’s chief executive, Patrick Delany, said its new product, Hubbl, would give consumers the simplified viewing experience they wanted.

Hubbl’s TV or plug-in devices will allow customers to access streaming services and digital free-to-air services in one interface, in some cases bundling subscriptions through a single billing account. Its new set-top boxes will cost $99, and its smart televisions retail between $1595 and $1995.

See Also: Hubbl: The CEO interview – Patrick Delany on why you need this streaming device

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Police reveal they are searching for a third man in relation to the disappearance of a TV star and his partner

Police have searched the home of a NSW Police officer over the suspicious disappearance of a former Channel 10 reporter and his Qantas worker partner, reports News Corp’s Tess McCracken.

It is understood detectives investigating the disappearance of Jesse Baird, 26, and his partner, Luke Davies, 29, received information about a current officer who previously dated Baird.

About 11.30pm on Thursday, police executed a search warrant at a Waite Avenue home in Balmain and seized a number of items.

NSW Police said in a statement on Thursday night they were attempting to locate the man they believed might be able to assist with the investigation.

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Instagram’s uneasy rise as a news site

On a recent Wednesday in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, Mosheh Oinounou, a former producer for CBS, Bloomberg News and Fox News, swiped through Instagram. He had started his morning reading major newspapers and more than a dozen newsletters. Then he spent much of the day turning many of the articles into posts on his Instagram account, under the handle Mo News, report The New York Times’ Sapna Maheshwari and Mike Isaac.

A Wall Street Journal story on aging Americans was relayed through a picture of a cake declaring, “Record Number of Americans Will Turn 65 This Year: Wealthy, Active, And Single.” At times, Oinounou, an affable 41-year-old, has also appeared on camera with the co-host of his daily news podcast to explain the significance of how Republican presidential candidates were polling and why President Biden was a write-in candidate in New Hampshire.

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AI’s new job? All-purpose Hollywood crewmember

Picture this: In a future not too far away, HBO is mulling whether to greenlight a new Game of Thrones spinoff but is on the fence about the project. So instead of dumping tens of millions of dollars to shoot a pilot it might wind up passing on, it uses a generative artificial intelligence system trained on its library of shows to create a rough cut in the style of the original, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Winston Cho.

It ultimately decides not to move forward with the title. That process sans AI cost HBO troves of cash and time when it was mulling a potential successor to Thrones in 2018. A cast headed by Naomi Watts was assembled and massive new sets were built. All in all, HBO spent roughly $35 million to shoot a pilot that never saw the light of day. The cost of doing it with AI? A fraction of that figure.

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News Brands

Nine CEO predicts gambling ads will be spared blanket ban

The chief executive of Australia’s largest listed media company, Nine Entertainment, does not expect the Albanese government will bring in a full ban on online wagering advertising, despite a parliamentary inquiry recommending one, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Mike Sneesby, who leads the company that owns the Nine Network, radio stations 2GB and 3AW, streaming platform Stan and news publishers like The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Financial Review, said it was clear the government had found gambling advertising to be a “complex situation”.

Advertising from gambling companies is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to media companies and sporting codes.

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BuzzFeed plans to lay off 16% of employees after selling Complex

BuzzFeed announced plans to lay off dozens of employees after offloading Complex Networks at a significant discount, reports The Guardian’s Callum Jones.

The struggling digital media group, which also owns HuffPost, said it would reduce its remaining workforce by 16% as part of a strategic restructuring. This will save the firm about $23m a year, it said.

It sold most of Complex, a publisher focused on streetwear and pop culture, to Ntwrk, an e-commerce group, for $108.6m – just over two years after buying the business in a $294m deal. BuzzFeed will keep hold of First We Feast, maker of the popular video series Hot Ones.

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Dating shows make big money for contestants, networks

During the finale of The Bachelor’s 11th US season, in 2007, millions of fans were glued to their televisions to see who Brad Womack, a then 34-year-old bar owner, would give his final rose to. Would it be DeAnna Pappas, a real estate agent from Georgia, or Jenni Croft, a dancer for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns? In one of the greatest twists in the show’s history, Womack picked neither – shocking more than 11 million viewers in the US, report Bloomberg’s Teresa Xie and Immanual John Milton.

Every single season, the legacy dating show promises to be “the most dramatic ever” – and every single season, millions tune in to see who ends up with their happily-ever-after. That’s because when something as unpredictable as love is on the line, it’s hard to look away.

There’s a reason these shows get renewed season after season: Hollywood has an entertaining formula for finding love.

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Sports Media

Age and Herald journalists honoured at Australian Sports Commission awards

Journalists from The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have been honoured for their news and feature writing at the prestigious Australian Sports Commission awards, reports Nine Publishing.

The Herald’s Tom Decent won the award for best sport coverage by an individual – written for breaking one of the biggest sport stories of the year, revealing former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones had held secret meetings with Japanese Rugby Union about becoming their coach while he was at the helm of Australia at the Rugby World Cup.

The Age’s chief sports writer Greg Baum was recognised for his in-depth profile of Collingwood captain Darcy Moore.

Konrad Marshall, a senior writer for Good Weekend magazine, won the award for best depiction of inclusive sport for his feature on NBL basketballer Isaac Humphries, the first male professional basketballer in the world to publicly declare he was gay.

Another highlight of Wednesday night’s awards dinner night at the MCG was the bestowing of a lifetime achievement award on Nine sports caller Ray “Rabs” Warren.

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