TikTok held discussions with News Corp over a content deal


According to Capital Brief, the talks involved senior local executives from each company.

News Corp Australia and TikTok held discussions over a content deal that would have seen TikTok pay News its videos.

According to Capital Brief, the talks involved senior local executives from each company and were held before Meta’s announcement on 1 March that it would not renew deals with Australian news publishers.

Capital Brief reports that while the discussions didn’t produce any formal agreements, the talks shone light on News Corp’s willingness to secure payments from big tech for content.

News Corp has been contacted for comment.

At a parliamentary inquiry into social media held last month, Seven West Media CEO Jeff Howard, alongside Nine CEO Mike Sneesby and News Corp Australia executive chair Michael Miller, warned the parliamentary committee of job cuts across newsrooms if Meta fails to renew the deals made with publishers under the media bargaining code. 

The parliamentary committee was called in May after Meta said it would not renew its commercial agreements with local publishers. Meta signed the agreements in 2021, and are due to expire this year.

Before the parliamentary inquiry, several News Corp roles were made redundant in June including head of national trading and NSW consortium agencies, Alexandra Bliekast.

Bliekast’s exit comes as The Sydney Morning Herald reported News Corp Australia will “make up to 80 roles in its sales workforce redundant” as part of its ongoing restructure. A News Corp spokesperson told the Nine masthead that the claims of a 40% reduction in sales staff was “wildly inaccurate”.

A News Corp Australia spokesman told Mediaweek: “Like most companies we do not provide commentary on employment matters but the story that first appeared in the Nine Entertainment tabloids, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, contained multiple errors, including the egregiously false claim 40 percent of sales staff were to lose their jobs. 

“The published story still contains significant errors and we would appreciate having the opportunity to consider and respond to questions rather than media outlets automatically assuming these reports are correct.”

Other exits so far include Michael Wilkins, managing director of national sport brands, Marcus Hooke, general manager of print production, and Michael Desiere, head of sales – NSW independent agencies and major direct.

Two of the first high-profile exits were Lisa Muxworthy, the editor-in-chief of news.com.au – the most popular news website in the country – and John McGourty, the Editorial Innovation Centre’s group director.

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