Roundup: The Idol cancelled, Ray Hadley criticises new ratings system, Tipping Point

The Idol

Ex-FOI commissioner, X to allow political ads, Stan Grant, John Laws, Netball on SEN

Business of Media

Tight budget saw freedom of information boss thrown onto the bus

A painstakingly long hearing on the painstakingly long delays plaguing Australia’s freedom of information regime may not seem like good sport to anyone but the writers of Utopia, reports Nine Publishing’s Sherryn Groch.

But on the second day of testimony in Canberra, ex-FOI commissioner Leo Hardiman dropped some bombs to wake up the crowd.

In what is surely a public servant dummy spit for the ages, Hardiman spoke of a culture of gaslighting, incompetence and resistance to reform – which will resonate with anyone who’s ever waited on the other end of an FOI request.

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X will allow political ads from candidates, parties ahead of US election

X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, said Tuesday it would now allow political advertising in the U.S. from candidates and political parties and expand its safety and elections team ahead of the 2024 presidential election, reports Reuters’ Sheila Dang.

Before billionaire Elon Musk acquired the company in October, Twitter had banned all political ads globally since 2019. In January, Twitter lifted the ban and began allowing “cause-based ads” in the U.S. that raise awareness of issues such as voter registration, and said it planned to expand the types of political ads it would allow on the platform.

The move to allow all political ads in the U.S. could help X grow its revenue at a time when many advertisers have fled or reduced spending on the platform for fear of appearing next to inappropriate content.

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I should have behaved better, Stan Grant writes on LinkedIn

Indigenous broadcaster Stan Grant has admitted he “should have behaved better” during an “unfortunate disagreement” with a colleague at his former ­employer, the ABC, reports The Australian’s David Ross

The Australian revealed on Tuesday that ABC management had investigated a public bullying incident involving Grant and a senior ABC colleague, which occurred in the foyer of the broadcaster’s Ultimo headquarters in full view of witnesses.

In a post on LinkedIn on Tuesday, Grant wrote that he had, over the past 24 hours, “been the subject of a smear campaign by media. I have also seen my former employer the ABC fail again to defend me”.

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2GB host Ray Hadley criticises new radio ratings system after many programs suffer big falls in the latest results

Sydney talkback host Ray Hadley has hit out at the new radio measurement system and said “someone better explain” after his station, 2GB, suffered significant falls across many programs in the latest results, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

2GB’s top shows hosted by Hadley and Ben Fordham were among those to experience some of the biggest drops in the ratings in the results released on Tuesday morning, but despite this, both programs retained their number one spots in their respective timeslots.

“I know we have a new methodology, but someone better explain to us in the radio industry how every station in Sydney can go down by such a mammoth amount,” Hadley said on his program.

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Radio legend John Laws off the radio for a month battling the flu

Radio legend John Laws has been absent from his morning radio show on 2SM Super Network for almost a month, with listeners given an update as to why he did not return on Monday as expected, report News Corp’s Lisa Woolford and Hayley Goddard.

His colleagues Pete Davis and Dave Cochrane have been filling in on his The John Laws Morning Show to allow “the king” to recuperate from the flu.

Cochrane was still in the hot seat on Monday, telling listeners: “I’m sorry to say you’ve got to put up with me again today, the king is still not feeling the best but we’ve got our fingers crossed that he may be back and behind the golden microphone tomorrow”.

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The Idol cancelled: funniest climax for world’s least sexy show

“Skin-crawling … nasty, brutish … and way, way worse than you’d have anticipated” (Rolling Stone). “It feels like being licked all over by some dirty, drunk club DJ growling: ‘Nice ass’” (The Times, UK). “Kinky yet empty, like a visit to a red-light district during the pandemic” (People magazine). The Weeknd unzips his trousers “with all the energy and sexual enticement of Gollum scurrying for a fish” (GQ), reports The Guardian’s Sian Cain.

That journalists – journalists, of all the joyless, sexless people on God’s green earth – would watch The Idol and think “I’ve done hot yoga sexier than this” was surely the death knell for Sam Levinson’s skeazy HBO drama about the skeazy music biz, which starred Lily-Rose Depp as a dead-eyed pop star and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye as a coked-up cult leader who joylessly make whoopee for a few hours of telly.

But finally, we have our climax: The Idol – described by this publication as “one of the worst programs ever made” – has been cancelled after just one season, announced in a diplomatic statement issued by HBO on Monday.

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Todd Woodbridge secretly films Channel Nine’s quiz show Tipping Point in London

After being dubbed the “New Eddie” by quiz fans, it can be revealed former tennis great Todd Woodbridge has already filmed episodes of Channel Nine’s Australian version of Tipping Point, reports Niews Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

The Australian version of the British quiz show will replace McGuire’s Hot Seat show as the all important lead-in to Nine’s weeknight news bulletin early next year and while Woodbridge is yet to be announced by Nine as host, he most certainly has the gig.

Nine filmed episodes of the Australian version of the show in London earlier this year. When the network announced this usual move no host was noted, but it is understood Woodbridge hosted that block of shows.

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Sports Media

Hutchison takes on netball in new radio rights deal

Sports media mogul Craig Hutchison has added netball to his sprawling broadcast empire, inking a new radio deal with the embattled sport, reports Nine Publishing’s Carla Jaeger.

The three-year deal comes a month after Hutchison’s Sports Entertainment Network – Australia’s biggest sport radio network – secured the eighth team licence to the Super Netball competition.

Announced on Tuesday, the deal will give SEN the exclusive radio rights to some Super Netball matches, as well as games featuring the national team, the Diamonds.

It had been hinted by both SEN and Netball Australia that part of the appeal of joining the league would be the ability to leverage the network’s broadcast capabilities.

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