Roundup: Disney share price, Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello

Simon & Schuster, Media Diversity Australia, Barrington Coast, Amazon Ads, This is Flow, Livewire

Business of Media

The ASX firm that shows Bob Iger’s Disney comeback could work

At entertainment giant Disney, owner of both Star Wars and Marvel franchises, almost every hero gets a sequel. The return of Bob Iger, who has been reappointed as Disney’s chief executive just two years after retiring from the group, suggests that policy even extends to the executive suite, reports Nine Publishing’s James Thomson.

The appointment of Iger and the brutal dispatch of former CEO Bob Chapek following what appears to have been a management team mutiny, sent Disney shares up 6 per cent on Monday night.

Iger, who led the company from 2005 until his first retirement, is highly respected by investors and leaders alike; his autobiography, The Ride of a Lifetime, has been praised by no less than Bill Gates as one of the best business books in recent memory.

But the appointment of Iger has been greeted by scepticism, too – and not just for what it says about his obvious failures in succession planning.

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See Also: Disney thriller: World’s biggest studio axes current CEO as former chief returns

Paramount scraps $2.2bn sale of Simon & Schuster publishing to Penguin

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest book publisher, and rival Simon & Schuster have scrapped a $2.2bn deal to merge, Penguin’s owner said in a statement on Monday, reports The Guardian.

Bertelsmann, a German media group which owns Penguin, initially said it would appeal a US judge’s decision that said its purchase of Simon & Schuster would be illegal because it would hit authors’ pay.

But Bertelsmann said in a statement on Monday that it “will advance the growth of its global book publishing business without the previously planned merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster”.

Reuters reported on Sunday that the German company was unable to convince Paramount Global, Simon & Schuster’s owner, to extend their deal agreement and appeal the judge’s decision.

Judge Florence Pan of the US district court for the District of Columbia ruled on 31 October that the justice department had shown the deal could substantially lessen competition “in the market for the US publishing rights to anticipated top-selling books”.

With the deal’s dissolution, Penguin will pay a $200m termination fee to Paramount.

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Australian TV news presenters still mostly white, report shows, sparking row over balance

A report revealing the lack of diversity among presenters of Australia’s TV news and current affairs programs has been criticised as lacking balance, reports The Guardian’s Mostafa Rachwani.

But non-profit group Media Diversity Australia defended the findings of its report – Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories? 2.0 – and said the criticisms made were “disappointing” and “flimsy.”

The report found that journalists with Anglo-Celtic background were still “vastly over-represented” on TV, and that their representation had actually increased, from 75.8% in 2020 to 78% in 2022.

The report also found that while Australia’s non-European population was 24.7%, they only accounted for 6.1% of appearances on news and current affairs programs.

But the report has also attracted criticism, most notably from the ABC, whose acting head of indigenous, diversity and inclusion, Gavin Fang, wrote an extensive response.

Fang questioned the methodology behind the report, which took a two-week slice of news and current affairs programming on free-to-air TV between 1 and 14 June this year.

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Barrington Coast takes home double gold at NSW Tourism Awards

Barrington Coast, the tourism brand for MidCoast Council has won two gold awards at the recent NSW Tourism Awards thanks to Destination Marketing Store, Fred&Co and Leonards Advertising.

The first gold for Best Local Government for Tourism was followed up by the hotly contested second gold for Best Tourism Marketing and Campaigns for the “Whatever it takes” campaign.

Beginning with the Destination Marketing Store’s (DMS’) destination management plan and brand positioning for Barrington Coast, a foundation was set for both the tourism brand and later campaign. The brand was positioned on the ‘Blaze your own trail’ platform – with the brand personality traits of being free spirited, courageous, grounded and not taking life too seriously.

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Amazon Ads and Reprise Commerce partner to roll out Ads Accelerator

Reprise Commerce in partnership with Amazon Ads Australia has commenced the rollout of Amazon Ads Accelerator, a new bespoke in-person masterclass focussed on retail media capability.

The program is designed to provide foundational knowledge and tactical skills to develop and manage end to end campaigns with Amazon that drive client growth. It is the first time the new content has been delivered to an Australian media holding group in partnership with Amazon Ads Australia, and is open to all IPG Mediabrands’ agencies including Reprise, Initiative, UM and Matterkind, with plans to expand into other markets in 2023.

Jess White, CEO Reprise, (the lead partnership agency), said she was proud to be piloting this new program content.

White said: “Accelerator is a game-changer and is key to evolving Reprise’s eCommerce offering in a rapidly changing and very competitive environment.”

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This is Flow wins three new clients following three competitive pitches

Independent agency This is Flow has added three new clients following competitive pitches. The new clients are Experience Co, Rock Face and GPT GroupBillings across the three brands will total $8million plus and Flow will manage media planning and buying across Australia and NZ.

Experience Co is one of Australia’s leading adventure and lifestyle tourism companies. Founded in 1998, the company delivers outstanding activities and experiences across Australia and New Zealand in skydiving, reef tours, treetops adventures and remote luxury experiences in stunning locations such as Maria Island (Tasmania), Bamurru Plains (NT) and Arkaba Homestead (SA).

Rock Face originated in the UK and is making its mark with Aussie men who want a simplified, real skin care routine.  Famous for being men’s life hack and its aftershave quality scents its excited to be bringing its range of deodorants, body sprays, shower gels and moisturisers down under. Rockface is sold in Woolworths, Coles and Countdown in NZ.

GPT Group is an ASX 50 company with a diversified property portfolio of high-quality Australian offices, logistics and retail assets.  The group manages some of the biggest buildings and shopping centres in the country, including Highpoint, Karrinyup, Rouse Hill Town Centre, Charlestown and Melbourne Central.

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Livewire announces new executive appointments to support global expansion

Australian-founded gaming marketing and gametech company, Livewire has appointed its new senior executive team to lead its global operations.

Leading the operations will be US-based chief commercial officer (CCO) Lionel Sim, Australian-based COO Sarah La Roche and chief financial officer (CFO), Michelle Sheehan.

These new roles will support Livewire’s rapid expansion into new markets following its launch in Australia, South East Asia, DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), North America and India.

This comes after the company received a $4.7M Series A funding raise and the announcement of brand partnerships, including with Uber Eats, Amazon Music UK, NBL League on its landmark deal with the NBA 2K League and Dell’s Alienware Arena Series.

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Is axed SAFM personality Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello in the brekky radio mix for 2023?

Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello may have got the flick from SAFM, but he is as switched on as ever, reports News Corp’s Anna Vlach.

It is not uncommon for breakfast radio presenters to deliberately fall off the radar – to take time out – after leaving such a high-profile gig.

But close to a month after he was let go, Cosi’s name is still up in lights.

That is because he has managed to establish himself as a brand in his own right.

And it sounds like he is more than ready to make a radio comeback in 2023.

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