Roundup: Tracy Grimshaw’s return to television, Mike Sneesby, Spotify shares jump

Tracy Grimshaw

Rupert Murdoch, AI dangers, Payments to US media, Washington Post, Ex-TV presenter ‘tried to kill’ woman, Mike Flanagan

Business of Media

Nine boss Mike Sneesby on a bumpy road – will he hit the skids?

Nine Entertainment chief executive officer Mike Sneesby was spotted on Monday on his way to work as his future remains in limbo and the network’s independent investigation into allegations of misconduct is unlikely to be handed down before the Paris Olympics, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

Two weeks have passed since The Australian first revealed veteran news boss Darren Wick resigned from the media company after he was the subject of a complaint from a female staff member.

An external review by consulting firm Intersection will delve into complaints of sexual harassment and bullying with past and present employees and this process is expected to be completed by early July.

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Rupert Murdoch’s new wife, Elena Zhukova, excited about Australian visit

Australia will get its first glimpse of the fifth Mrs Rupert Murdoch on July 25 when Elena Zhukova joins her new husband at the Australian Museum in Sydney for a gala celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of The Australian newspaper, reports Nine Publishing’s Andrew Hornery.

It’s shaping up to be a swanky party – one which the Russian-born Zhukova, 67, has been looking forward to for some time, although hundreds of Murdoch’s nervous Australian staff probably do not share her excitement, given sweeping cost-cutting that is under way and job losses in coming weeks.

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Media and Arts union calls for urgent action on AI dangers

Australia’s biggest media union has called for the federal government to address the burgeoning use of artificial intelligence, claiming jobs will be lost and public trust undermined if the technology evades regulation, reports The Australian’s Elizabeth Pike.

In a recent submission to the parliamentary inquiry into AI, The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance warned the work of Australian creators was being mined to train AI platforms without consent or compensation. The union’s Federal President Michael Balk said the unbridled rise of AI technologies had the potential to spread misinformation, mislead audiences, and cause significant social harm.

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The grey zone of misinformation: Iran, Russia’s payments to US media outlet revealed

Leaders of an online news site aimed at Western audiences have received money from both Russian and Iranian government media outlets, recently unearthed documents reveal, showing how widening geopolitical alliances are making it harder to identify and trace foreign influence operations, reports The Washington Post’s Joseph Menn.

Hacked emails and other documents from the Iranian government-funded Press TV show payments of thousands of dollars to a writer who is now a Washington-based editor for Grayzone, whose founder regularly appears on Russian television and once accepted a trip to Moscow for a celebration of Russian state-controlled video network RT that featured Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Spotify shares jump on price hikes

Spotify Technology is testing the loyalty of its customer base by raising prices for the second time this year as it aims to become more consistently profitable, sending shares higher in early trading, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Dean Seal.

The most popular music streamer by subscriber count said Monday that starting in July, Spotify Premium members will have to pay a dollar more for their individual subscriptions at $11.99 a month. Duo plans that allow for two users to share an account will start costing $16.99 a month instead of $14.99 a month, while family plans will cost $3 more at $19.99 a month.

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News Brands

Washington Post newsroom reels from sudden editor exit

On Sunday night, minutes after Will Lewis, the chief executive of The Washington Post, informed employees that the newspaper’s executive editor, Sally Buzbee, was being replaced, managers gathered on a conference call to hear from their boss one last time, report The New York Times’ Benjamin Mullin and Katie Robertson.

Buzbee told them that a new organizational structure created by Lewis — effectively splitting the Washington Post newsroom and opinion section into three smaller divisions — didn’t work for her. She added that Lewis was pushing for aggressive moves to turn around The Post, and asked editors to reserve judgment for now.

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Sneak peek teases Tracy Grimshaw’s return to television in a groundbreaking new experiment

Four Aussie couples are set to change their lives in the trailer for Do You Want To Live Forever? Coming soon to 9Now.

[See the trailer here]

Ex-TV presenter ‘tried to kill’ woman in domestic violence spat, court hears

A woman thought a former Channel Seven presenter was “going to kill her” when he allegedly strangled her until she blacked out and left her coughing up blood, a court has heard, reports News Corp’s Adelaide Lang.

Liam David Cox appeared via audiovisual link in Sydney Downing Centre Local Court on Monday to apply for bail after spending nearly a month behind bars on remand over the claims.

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Director Mike Flanagan’s battle with ‘hostile’ Netflix: ‘Doing enormous harm’

Director Mike Flanagan has lashed out at Netflix, labelled the streaming giant “hostile”, reports News Corp’s Joshua Haigh.

The film executive, who was recently hired to reboot the Exorcist movie franchise, has worked with Netflix on such hits as Gerald’s Game, Hush and The Haunting of Hill House.

However, their working relationship has soured recently after his latest series failed to become a big hit for the streamer, and now Flanagan has claimed bosses were “actively hostile” toward him when he raised the notion of releasing his projects on physical media.

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