Roundup: “We’ve got a lot of issues with footy”, US Oscar ratings, Reddit

AFL footy

Josh Frydenberg, Charges to be downgraded against Seven personality, Meghan and Harry, Telegraph and Spectator takeover, Vanderpump Rules, Leigh Matthews

Business of Media

Frydenberg urges Labor to negotiate with Zuckerberg over media deal

Former federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg has urged the Albanese government to take a more direct and personal approach in negotiating with Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg over the social media giant’s commercial deals with Australian news publishers, reports Nine Publishing’s Jessica Yun.

Frydenberg, who as treasurer installed the news media bargaining code three years ago during the pandemic, said Meta’s decision to pull out of its agreements with news organisations would leave a “billion-dollar black hole in public interest journalism”. Now chairman of Goldman Sachs Australia, Frydenberg also echoed the comments of another former Coalition treasurer, Nine chair Peter Costello, who on Monday said the media faced an “existential moment”.

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Charges to be downgraded in case against Channel Seven television personality charged with rape, torture offences

A Channel Seven television personality charged with a raft of serious rape and torture offences spanning over more than a decade could have some of her charges dropped or downgraded, a court has been told, reports News Corp’s Aisling Brennan.

The woman, who cannot be identified due to a non-publication order granted in October last year, was not present when her matter was briefly mentioned at Richlands Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Police had charged the woman and her partner – both of whom appeared on a prominent Channel Seven show – with the string of offences in August 2023.

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Meghan and Harry team react to Kate Middleton photo crisis: would be “annihilated” for error

Sources close to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have waded into Princess Kate’s Photoshop crisis, reports News Corp’s Merryn Johns.

A source told Page Six that expat royals the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would “have been annihilated” if they had handed out secretly Photoshopped images of themselves and their family. They added: “The same rules do not apply to both couples.

“This isn’t a mistake that Meghan would ever make … she has a keen eye and freakish attention to detail.”

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Reddit aiming for $6.5bn valuation from New York flotation

The social media network Reddit has revealed that it is seeking a valuation of about $6.5bn (£5bn) at its imminent flotation on the New York Stock Exchange, report The Guardian’s Jane Croft and Nick Robins-Early.

The company said in a corporate filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday that it planned to raise up to $748m by selling 22m shares valued at between $31 and $34 each in the largest initial public offering of a social media network in four years.

The news aggregation, content and discussion platform had confidentially filed for an IPO in 2021, but delayed its move because of economic conditions and a poor performance by technology stocks.

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Telegraph and Spectator takeover: News Corp and Mail owner consider bids

Two leading British media groups have reportedly shown fresh interest in a takeover of the Telegraph and Spectator alongside Redbird IMI, a consortium backed by the United Arab Emirates, report The Guardian’s Jane Croft and Pippa Crerar.

Bloomberg said Rupert Murdoch’s News UK and DMGT, which owns the Daily Mail, are examining options regarding the Conservative-supporting newspaper and its sister magazine.

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The climate crisis is accelerating — and Australia’s news media isn’t keeping up

As our oceans hit record heat and steadily acidify, accelerating the melting of Antarctic ice, Australia’s traditional news media seems to have got its reporting on the escalating crisis precisely — literally — back to front, reports Crikey’s Christopher Warren.

The result? We’re getting more much-needed news about the climate crisis. But, in the headlines, the fossil-fuel-powered global denialist movement continues to throw its dead hand over Australia’s political debate.

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The Icarus of reality TV: Did Vanderpump Rules fly too close to the sun?

The tenth season of Vanderpump Rules was so dramatic, fans coined it the Super Bowl of reality TV. “Scandoval”, the cheating storyline that rocked the show, drew in thousands of new viewers, culminating in the largest audience for US network Bravo in over nine years, reports Nine Publishing’s Nell Geraets.

Just as sports fans return in droves to the Super Bowl every year, reality fans largely assumed it would be similar for the next season of Vanderpump. And they were right – the season 11 premiere attracted 3.2 million viewers (including three days of delayed viewing), a 68 per cent increase over the season 10 premiere in 2023.

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Barbenheimer, and an early start, boost US Oscar ratings to 4-year high

The comeback of live event TV continues. ABC’s telecast of the 96th Academy Awards on Sunday drew 19.5 million viewers, hitting a four-year viewership high, according to Nielsen. The live TV audience was up from last year’s 18.8 million, the third consecutive year that Oscar viewership has grown, reports The New York Times’ Michael M. Grynbaum.

The ratings report will prompt cheers at ABC and the academy, which bumped the start of the venerable awards ceremony to 7 p.m. Eastern, an hour earlier than usual, in the hopes that more viewers would stick around through the final categories.

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Sports Media

Leigh Matthews said Channel Seven thought he was in ‘wind down phase’

Leigh Matthews is ready for a new TV challenge after revealing his longtime employer Channel Seven thought he was winding down, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Matthews, 72, had been commentating on select footy matches on Channel Seven and is also part of radio 3AW. But he has moved to co-host the new Footy Furnace show on Sunday nights alongside Tom Morris and Jimmy Bartel.

“It was interesting really, I guess I’ve been thinking I’m in the wind down phase — Channel Seven certainly thought that a few years ago,’’ he said at Nine’s Footy Launch.

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“We’ve got a lot of issues with footy”: Nine’s next gen on AFL in 2024

Yesterday at a Nine Footy media launch in Melbourne, four young journos took centrestage to share their thoughts on the game. They included Natalie Yoannidis & Xander McGuire from Nine News, AFLW reporter Jess Webster and The Age’s Marnie Vinall, reports TV Tonight.

Host Eddie McGuire asked Natalie Yoannidis about Season 2024.

“We’ve got a lot of issues with footy,” she said. “The thing with AFL in this town is that it’s a small town, but the hunger for football is immeasurable. We’re always looking for something new. A different angle, whether it be just a little tidbit, a little nugget. We’ve got some big issues that we have to tackle this season and seasons to come, but then there’s also the little things and just the colour around the game as well. I think that that’s something really important that we need to really cover and something that we do in our newsroom really well.”

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