Roundup: Trevor Kennedy & David Gulpilil pass away, Twitter CEO steps down + more

Plus: ABC, The Checkout, Rebecca Maddern, Lauren Phillips, and Mariah Carey

News Brands

Trevor Kennedy was the man who wrote the news and became the news

Journalist, media executive and businessman Trevor Kennedy last ever deal was to hand over his treasure trove of Australiana, valued at almost $15 million, to the National Museum of Australia, reports SMH’s Tim Boreham and Carolyn Cummins.

The collection, nurtured over a lifetime, was sealed for a price tag of $8 million, with a number of significant items – collectively estimated to be worth up to $10 million – donated to the museum.

It was a transaction befitting Kennedy’s reputation of having an eye for a deal and a habit of leaving a “bigger than life” impression on those he met.

Kennedy, 79, died over the weekend, after a career that saw him grow from a journalist and a media executive to a public company director and businessman. Along the way, he made some famous friends and mentored quite a few names as well.

Arguably Kennedy was best known as the right-hand man to Frank Packer and then his son Kerry, whose key assignments included transforming the ageing Bulletin magazine into one of the country’s most influential organs.

But his eclectic and often controversial career covered far more than his Packer associations, including resources investments and directorships on boards including Qantas, Downer EDI and the old AWA Ltd.

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Business of Media

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey resigns, net worth, Parag Agrawal replaces him

Twitter has announced that its co-founder Jack Dorsey has stepped down as chief executive, reports the AFP.

The company announced that chief technical officer Parag Agrawal will replace him.

Dorsey is credited with coming up with the idea for Twitter when eventual co-founder Evan Williams gave workers at blogging start-up Odeo two weeks to work on fun new projects as a way to break up the daily routine.

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Algorithms, not trolls, the crux of online hate speech

Critics of big social media companies say new laws that target trolls ignore the role of algorithms in promoting hateful and harassing content, reports AFR’s Natasha Gillezeau.

Reset Australia, an international lobby group that argues the business models of social media such as Facebook and Twitter have corrosive effects on liberal democracies, want policy makers to go further.

“Social media companies promote, amplify and profit from hate – catching trolls won’t end online hate,” said Reset executive director Chris Cooper.

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ABC ‘may have paid $398,000 too much to settle defame case’

ABC managing director David Anderson has rejected a suggestion the national broadcaster could have settled the matter of reporter Louise Milligan’s defamatory tweet about federal MP Andrew Laming for as little as $2000, reports News Corp’s James Madden and Sophie Elsworth.

The social media posts, which wrongly accused Dr Laming of a criminal act, ultimately cost the ABC about $200,000, although if the payout is eventually deemed to be subject to fringe benefits tax, the final cost to taxpayers could be closer to $400,000.

Facing a Senate estimates hearing on Monday night, Anderson was asked by WA Liberal senator Ben Small if Dr Laming would have dropped his defamation case against Milligan – who was indemnified by the ABC in the matter – if she had simply apologised upon first receiving a legal letter from the politician.

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Chase is on in bitter ABC court battle

High-profile ABC identity Julian Morrow has been accused of using Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally as a tool to damage the national broadcaster’s managing director David Anderson over the cancellation of his long-running consumer affairs show, reports News Corp’s Liam Mendes.

Morrow – who is the co-founder of The Chaser comedy troupe – appeared at the NSW ­Supreme Court on Monday for the first day of hearings into his legal battle with ex-business partner Nick Murray, whom he accuses of reneging on a deal to sell the rights to the now-defunct show The Checkout.

The comedian claims the pair agreed to part ways in 2019 after six series of the show, according to a statement of claim, which also states Murray allegedly agreed to sign over intellectual property rights in The Checkout to Mr Morrow’s company for $50 after it was not commissioned for a ­seventh series.

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Legendary actor and artist David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu dies

Australia’s greatest Aboriginal actor, David Gulpilil, has died after a long battle with cancer at his home in Murray Bridge, reports News Corp’s Patrick McDonald.

His death was announced on Monday night, more than two years after his daughter Phoebe Marson confirmed that the 68-year-old – star of such films as Storm Boy, The Tracker, Ten Canoes and Charlie’s Country – was gravely ill with lung cancer and said that “soon he will go to the Dreamtime”.

Gulpilil’s family has given permission for his name and image to continue to be used after his death, in accordance with his wishes.

The internationally acclaimed dancer from northeast Arnhem Land found fame in UK director Nicholas Roeg’s 1969 film Walkabout and made an unexpected final public appearance at this year’s Adelaide Festival for the premiere of the documentary My Name is Gulpilil.

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Nine shake-up as Rebecca Maddern, Lauren Phillips quit

Rebecca Maddern’s shock and bold departure from Channel 9 came after protracted negotiations over her contract broke down, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne and Jackie Epstein.

Maddern, the co-host of Weekend Today and Australian Ninja Warrior, has exited the network she has called home for the past five and a half years.

It is understood Maddern and the network were unable to agree to terms on a new deal.

Maddern was due to leave the Weekend Today show as part of revamp of the program’s hosting lineup in 2022.

That would have left her with her current commitments to the Australian Open and other tennis coverage as well as Australian Ninja Warrior for her six figure salary.

It is not clear if other hosting opportunities were on the table in 2022 and beyond for her consideration.

A lower pay deal is understood to have been offered by Nine with negotiations between the network and their star unable to reach a settlement.

The Weekend Today refresh will see an ensemble team helm the program in 2022 with Richard Wilkins, Charles Croucher and Belinda Russell taking the reins of the show.

Jayne Azzopardi remains as Weekend Today’s news reader.

Maddern’s departure has been followed by Lauren Phillips, who is leaving her gig as weather presenter.

Nine is still to confirm who will be taking on the weather presenting role – it is understood there is no shortage of presenters keen to nab the high-profile, national live TV opportunity.

The KIIS FM breakfast host said it was too difficult juggling both her radio and TV roles.

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Mariah Carey gets Waleed Aly’s name wrong during The Project interview

The Project’s interview with Mariah Carey got off to a bumpy start on Monday night when the music superstar got interviewer Waleed Aly’s name wrong, reports News Corp’s Nick Bond.

“Hi, Maleed,” Mariah said sweetly as she greeted Aly via videolink from a wildly festive setting.

Aly glanced off-camera, but chose not to correct the singer and instead forged ahead with the interview, which focused on Mariah’s upcoming Christmas special – her second in two years.

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