Roundup: Two new ABC board members, Netflix subscribers, gambling ads


Rupert Murdoch, Joe Aston, Natasha Exelby, Doctors soap

Business of Media

Two new ABC board members revealed by the federal government

Two women will join the ABC board, but the hunt remains for a new chairperson to replace Ita Buttrose who departs in 2024, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

On Wednesday, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland announced that the federal government had appointed businesswoman Nicolette Maury and also Louise McElvogue, who has extensive experiences in journalism, communications and marketing, to take up roles as non-executive directors on the ABC board for five-year terms.

The pair replace former board members Joe Gersh and Fiona Balfour, who both departed the ABC board earlier this year.

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Murdoch under pressure from US hedge fund to break up his media empire

Rupert Murdoch is under pressure from an activist investor to break up the media empire behind The Australian and London’s Times, reports The Telegraph’s James Warrington

Starboard Value, which is run by US hedge fund manager Jeff Smith, revealed it has built a stake in Murdoch’s News Corp and said it is in discussions with the company.

In a presentation at an investor summit in New York on Tuesday, Starboard said News Corp was “significantly undervalued” and called for a spin-off of its Australian real estate division.

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Netflix adds 9 million subscribers in third quarter

Netflix added nine million subscribers in the third quarter and saw a year-over-year increase in revenue despite strikes by Hollywood writers and actors that brought the entertainment industry largely to a standstill, reports The New York Times’ Nicole Sperling.

Netflix’s revenue hit $8.5 billion in the quarter, the streaming company said in an earnings announcement on Wednesday, up 8 percent from the same time last year. The increase was credited to a better-than-expected growth in subscribers. It now has 247 million subscribers worldwide. The company’s net income was $1.6 billion, up close to 20 percent from the third quarter in 2022. The company is expected to spend some $13 billion on content this year, down from $17 billion, because of the writers’ strike, which recently concluded, and the ongoing actors’ strike.

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News Brands

Joe Aston on 12 years of Rear Window

After 12 years helming one of the Financial Review’s most popular columns, Joe Aston has called it a day, reports Nine Publishing.

This week on The Fin podcast, Joe Aston on his evolution from gossip columnist to campaigning journalist, what happened when he went too far and life after Rear Window.

[Listen to the Podcast Here]


Free to Air TV tops gambling advertising

Media watchdog the Australian Communications & Media Authority has found $238.63 million was spent on advertising on free-to-air TV (in metro and regional TV markets), metro radio and online, reports TV Tonight.

ACMA commissioned Nielsen to survey all gambling advertisements on radio, television and online (including social media) platforms between May 2022 and April 2023.

Over 1 million gambling ads aired on free-to-air TV (metro and regional) and metro radio, with 50% (502,800 spots) from gambling providers offering online gambling services (online gambling providers).

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Natasha Exelby busted drink driving after crashing into parked car

Television journalist Natasha Exelby was busted more than four times over the legal limit after she crashed her Kia into a parked car at Toorak, reports News Corp’s
Laura Placella.

The former 10 News First reporter and presenter fronted the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday where she escaped conviction after admitting to drink driving and driving while suspended.

The court heard the seasoned journalist, who sat quietly behind her defence lawyer, had driven her white Kia Cerato into a parked car along Orrong Rd in Toorak on June 26.

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BBC is cancelling Doctors soap after 23 years on air

The medical TV drama Doctors will end after more than 20 years, the BBC has announced, blaming “super-inflation in drama production”, reports The Guardian’s Rachel Hall.

The BBC said it had faced a “very difficult decision” on whether to reinvest in the Birmingham site where the show, which helped to launch the career of many actors, is filmed. It said costs had “increased significantly” at the location and had decided instead to finance new shows in the West Midlands.

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