Roundup: Vale Jerry Springer, Kyle Sandilands wedding, AFL CEO

Jerry Springer

Tucker Carlson, Newsmax, Prince Harry, Meta, Vice Media, BBC, Dr. Chris Brown, Succession

Business of Media

Jerry Springer, politician-turned-TV ringmaster, dies at 79

Jerry Springer, the onetime mayor and news anchor whose namesake TV show featured a three-ring circus of dysfunctional families willing to bare all on weekday afternoons including brawls, obscenities and blurred images of nudity, has died at 79, reports AP’s Dan Sewell.

At its peak, The Jerry Springer Show was a ratings powerhouse and a US cultural pariah, synonymous with lurid drama. Known for chair-throwing and bleep-filled arguments, the daytime talk show was a favourite American guilty pleasure over its 27-year run, at one point topping Oprah Winfrey’s show.

Springer called it “escapist entertainment,” while others saw the show as contributing to a dumbing-down decline in American social values.

“Jerry’s ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word,” said Jene Galvin, a family spokesperson and friend of Springer’s since 1970, in a statement. “He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humour will live on.”

Springer died peacefully at home in suburban Chicago after a brief illness on Thursday (US time), the statement said.

On his Twitter profile, Springer jokingly declared himself as “Talk show host, ringmaster of civilisation’s end”. He also often had told people, tongue in cheek, that his wish for them was “may you never be on my show”.

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How Jerry Springer defended show’s wildest controversies

Throughout his life, legendary talk show host Jerry Springer was often referred to as the “grandfather of trash TV”, reports News Corp’s Bronte Coy.

Springer, whose death was announced on Thursday at age 79, will be remembered for the controversial – yet iconic – show, which he defended in an interview with Page Six not long before his death.

“There was a democratic quality to it, you know, and it wasn’t intended as such,” Springer said in March 2022.

“When I look back at it, before our show came on [in] ‘91, American television was basically all upper-middle-class white. And whether it was, you know, in terms of entertainment, Seinfeld, Frasier, Friends, it was always well-scrubbed looking, upper-middle-class people. And that was it.”

He added: “And all of a sudden, my show comes on.”

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‘See you soon’: Tucker Carlson breaks silence after exiting Fox

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson spoke out Wednesday night, posting a video on Twitter where he criticised the level of debate on television shows and said there are few places where truth is told, reports Dow Jones’ Steven Russolillo.

“Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left. But there are some. And that’s enough,” he said in a two-minute video. “As long as you can hear the words, there is hope.”

“See you soon,” he said at the conclusion of the video, which was shot in his home studio.

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Newsmax ratings climb after Tucker Carlson’s exit at Fox

Newsmax, the niche conservative news channel that has long played David to Fox News’s Goliath, has seized on Tucker Carlson’s shock dismissal from its rival network and declared itself the true TV home for right-wing Americans, reports The New York Times’ Michael M. Grynbaum.

So far, the strategy is showing some promise.

Viewership of Newsmax remains far below that of Fox News. But its audience at certain hours has doubled, and in some time slots tripled, in the immediate aftermath of Carlson’s exit — an abrupt spike that has turned heads in conservative circles and the cable news industry.

On Monday evening, Eric Bolling’s 8 p.m. Newsmax program drew 531,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. One week earlier, it had 146,000. On Tuesday, Bolling’s audience grew to 562,000 viewers, equal to about 80 percent of Anderson Cooper’s CNN viewership that evening. Newsmax’s other prime-time shows also experienced big jumps.

The sharp rise in viewership can be timed almost to the minute of Fox News’s announcement on Monday that it was parting ways with Carlson, in part because of private messages sent by the anchor that included offensive and crude remarks.

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Has time run out for Prince Harry’s case against Murdoch press?

Prince Harry’s attempt to arrange a high court showdown with Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper company depends on one thing: did the prince meet a deadline to file his legal paperwork, asks The Guardian’s Jim Waterson

This week’s legal hearing at the high court in London has been full of fresh revelations about the relationship between royalty and the media. There have been claims that Prince William struck a secret phone-hacking settlement with Murdoch’s company for a “huge” sum of money; that King Charles tried to stop Harry’s legal cases so he could get favourable coverage in the Sun; and that Piers Morgan was aware Diana, Princess of Wales had been illegally targeted by his reporters.

Harry even claims that his war on the Murdoch newspaper business had the blessing of Queen Elizabeth II, his late grandmother.

But that does not necessarily mean he has a strong case in relation to this week’s hearing. The judge is looking at a much narrower issue, and he has already challenged Harry’s account.

The legal argument boils down to this: when did Prince Harry fully understand that he was potentially a victim of phone hacking? And then did he start his legal claim in time?

Murdoch’s company wants a judge to rule that the prince missed his deadline and therefore the entire case should be thrown out before going to a messy and expensive public trial.

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Meta shuts down Facebook watch originals programming

Meta is shutting down its Facebook Watch original programming, a company spokesperson confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter, leaving the future of shows like Red Table Talk in limbo as production company Westbrook Studios shops around the talk show for a new home, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan.

The shuttering of the Facebook Watch originals division, first reported by Deadline, comes as Meta implements wide-ranging cost cuts across the company, with the most recent including a round of layoffs that is expected to impact 10,000 employees. Included in the cuts is Mina Lefevre, the former MTV executive who led development and original programming for Facebook Watch.

One of Facebook Watch’s most well-known shows was Red Table Talk, the talk show co-hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris. The series had five seasons on Facebook Watch and led to a spinoff series, Red Table Talk: The Estefans, with Gloria Estefan, Emily Estefan and Lili Estefan. The original series debuted in 2018 and featured conversations that sparked widespread conversation online, including episodes that dived into the tumultuous moments of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s marriage. Guests from the last season, which concluded in December, included iCarly star Jennette McCurdy, Shark Tank mogul Barbara Corcoran, Crazy Rich Asians star Constance Wu and Glass Onion star Janelle Monáe, among others.

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News Brands

Vice Media cuts staff and ends Vice News Tonight

Vice Media said it was restructuring its global news operation, including shutting down its Vice News Tonight broadcast, as the embattled media company looks to sell itself, report The Wall Street Journal’s Jessica Toonkel and Alexandra Bruell.

The company expects to cut more than 100 jobs as part of the broader reorganization, according to a person familiar with the matter. Vice has around 1,500 employees, another person said.

“We are transforming Vice News to better withstand market realities and more closely align with how and where we see our audiences engaging with our content most,” co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala said in a note to staff that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. They said the company needed to accelerate its transition toward platforms such as Paramount Global’s Paramount+ with Showtime, free ad-supported streaming channels as well as YouTube and TikTok, among others.

Vice News Tonight is a weekly news show available on Vice TV, a cable network distributed by A+E Networks. Previously, it ran on HBO.

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BBC chair braced for potentially damning report on his appointment

A potentially damning report on how Richard Sharp was recommended for the job of BBC chair by Boris Johnson is expected to be published on Friday morning, report The Guardian’s Peter Walker and Jim Waterson.

Sources say the report, by the barrister Adam Heppinstall KC, could prove uncomfortable reading for Sharp.

The former Conservative party donor was appointed in 2021, and it subsequently emerged that he had failed to reveal while applying that he had helped an acquaintance seeking to offer a secret £800,000 personal loan guarantee for Johnson.

MPs have criticised Sharp for “significant errors of judgment” in failing to declare the potential conflict of interest, and the commissioner for public appointments launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding him getting the job.

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A-listers attending Kyle Sandilands’ wedding this weekend

The stage is set for the celebrity wedding of the year. Radio king Kyle Sandilands will marry his long-time partner, Tegan Kynaston, in a lavish wedding at one of Sydney’s most prestigious homes on Saturday, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

Prime Minister Anthony “DJ Albo” Albanese will spin tunes behind the decks.

NSW Premier Chris Minns is up the top of the guest list and chart topper Guy Sebastian is headline act at the reception.

The much-anticipated wedding is tipped to cost more than $1 million with the flower bill alone sitting around $150,000.

The couple will say their ‘I do’s’ midafternoon surrounded by close family and friends with some prominent faces set to celebrate at Swifts mansion in Darling Point.

Karl Stefanovic and wife Jasmine have RSVP-ed, as has Kings Cross business identity John Ibrahim, who is one of Sandilands’ closet mates and is a groomsman.

Simon Main is best man while Sandilands long-time radio colleague and manager Bruno Bouchet is also in the wedding party.

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Dr. Chris Brown: “The greatest professional privilege of my life”

Dr. Chris Brown made his farewell speech last night in his penultimate episode of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, as nine seasons alongside Julia Morris draws to a close, reports TV Tonight.

Brown, who has signed with Seven network, told viewers he didn’t want to detract from the winners in Sunday night’s finale in South Africa.

Figting back tears, Julia Morris, who was first paired with Brown at a Logie nominations event, said, “My beloved doctor, we became co hosts on this crazy celebrity show. And here we are, nine years later, I was meant to get through that like a joke, guys, but I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart, I’m heartbroken to say goodbye to my beloved doctor. ”

Brown said, “This has honestly been the greatest professional privilege of my life to host this show alongside you. And it’s because of the stuff you don’t see at home… this incredible crew that’s 400 strong. It’s our blended family that we are all so close with. And it’s this incredible creative force that comes together like you cannot imagine.”

He said of Julia Morris, “Nine years ago when when people said it was crazy to pair a vet with a comedian, we both laughed. And we both laughed a lot at the time, because we knew that we clicked.”

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Meet the woman behind the Succession meme page changing how we watch TV

Few shows have found a second life on the internet in the same way Succession has. The minute an episode ends the dissection begins, with fans trading theories and swapping one-liners, reports Nine Publishing’s Thomas Mitchell.

That last part is especially true given the series’ popularity hinges on its writing. And at a time when audiences are watching with meme potential in mind, Succession is tailor-made to be repurposed online. That’s where No Context Succession comes in.

The page is part of a wider social media trend that sees fan-made Twitter and Instagram accounts post scenes from beloved shows without any context, leaving it up to the reader to interpret the meaning.

Series like Fleabag, The Sopranos, Schitt’s Creek and Abbott Elementary have all been given the out-of-context treatment, but none has rivalled No Context Succession for both popularity and hilarity.

Over the last few years, the page has amassed an enormous fan base (over 260,000 followers, including the show’s creator Jesse Armstrong), becoming a viewer-driven extension of the show’s universe, with fans waiting to see which lines will end up on No Context Succession.

As we approach the final few episodes of Succession, the time has come to talk to the person responsible for your favourite page on the internet.

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Sports Media

Andrew Dillon is the talk of the footy world as AFL CEO search nears end

When billionaire trucking magnate Lindsay Fox throws a party, there are no half measures. Last week he took over one of the salubrious function rooms at the National Gallery of Victoria, of which Fox is a significant bank roller, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam McClure.

The who’s who of football and business were in attendance, including St Kilda president and Seek founder Andrew Bassat, as well as his Carlton counterpart and former PwC heavyweight Luke Sayers.

Outgoing AFL boss Gillon McLachlan, we’re told, sneaked in the back entrance to avoid any curious media.

But when the festivities were over, most guests left with one name on their lips: Andrew Dillon.

According to two partygoers, who spoke to The Scoop on condition of anonymity, Dillon is set to be unveiled as the AFL’s next chief executive after the federal government announces its funding of Tasmania’s new stadium.

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