What Ten didn’t tell us about Rove joining The Project, and other media tidbits of the day…
Thorpie comes out. Ian Thorpe’s emotional revelation to Michael Parkinson on Ten last night left much of the media struggling to give the former Olympic swimmer’s announcement the respect and intimacy it so clearly deserved, while still selling as many papers as possible. While the vast majority of reports were overwhelmingly supportive, not everyone got the balance quite right. News.com.au’s Facebook account made the baffling decision to link to an otherwise worthy article on the stigma facing homosexual athletes with this post:
The Sunday Mail, on the other hand, favoured the subtle approach.
Perhaps the most frustrating response to Ian Thorpe’s triumphant announcement can be summed up by a series of tweets from Daily Telegraph columnist Joe Hildebrand.
Proving that his ability to read the room is a bit rustier than his finely honed gaydar, Joe rammed his foot just that little bit further into his mouth with a sarcastic apology that did nothing but draw attention away from his concession that Thorpe’s announcement might just be a big deal for people struggling to come to terms with their own sexuality. — Paul Millar.
Breakfasts with Rupert. They don’t have advertising on the ABC … unless someone from News Corp is on. Thus, at the end of this week’s Insiders, when the panel are asked to throw in a political tip for the week ahead, Nikki Sava gave us a plug for the Oz. “The Australian is 50 years old this week, and I for one couldn’t imagine breakfast without it,” she got in, before the cameras cut back to a clearly exasperated Fran Kelly. Nice try, Nikki — Rupert would be proud. — Guy Rundle
Rove rejoins the roost. When your Fox TV show in the US is axed because of weak ratings, what else is a young Aussie star to do than fly home to Oz and take up a gig co-hosting a program on a Fox affiliate (Ten Network), which is produced by a private TV production company you own? That’s what Rove McManus is doing. This morning, Ten said that it was “thrilled to announce that Rove McManus will take a seat atThe Project as a special guest co-host from Monday August 18”.
“After co-hosting The Project in May, Rove jumped at the opportunity to return to Melbourne to join his long-time friends and former colleagues, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar. Currently based in Los Angeles, the guest co-host position gives Rove the perfect opportunity to return home to Australia for a few months. He will be on The Project until December 2014.”
Not a mention that Rove’s company Roving Enterprises produces The Project for Ten, and nary a mention of the fate of Riot, the program he starred in and co-produced with US comedian Steve Carell, which lasted a couple of episodes before being axed. — Glenn Dyer
Photo credits. A reader sent through an interesting little byline in the Oz’s 50th anniversary magazine, which was in the paper’s weekend edition. Note the photo credit on that iconic picture of St Kilda Aboriginal player Nicky Winmar? It says John Feder. But he’s not the one who took the original picture — that credit should go to Wayne Ludbey, then at TheAge (he’s now at the Herald Sun). But Feder took the picture of the photo file of the picture. In the same spirit, we’d like to credit the image below to Crikey’s fabulous website producer Sophie Benjamin, who took this photo of the magazine. She really has an eye for these things …
Crikey stablemate for sale. Real estate news website Property Observer is up for grabs after Crikey publisher Private Media hired corporate advisory firm Federation Capital to explore options for its sale. Speaking to Crikey this morning, Private Media CEO Marina Go says the potential sale was kicked off after the company was approached by a party interested in buying the website three months ago. “The property media market is quite a hot market … so we thought we should explore that opportunity.”
Property websites are crucial to the profits of News Corp and Fairfax, which own REA (realestate.com.au) and Domain respectively. These market-leading websites focus on property listings, while Property Observer does not carry classified advertisements. This focus on property journalism has made it the leading website for property investors. “It’s not mass-market — it has a differentiated position in the market, and so has been a good performer for us,” Go said. Due to a non-disclosure agreement she was unable to reveal how many parties were interested or who they are. Fairfax and News Corp could be natural suitors. Fairfax last week bought All Homes, the dominant property portal for Canberra, suggesting it is investing in its property assets.
In an email to staff, Go said agreements hadn’t been reached with any one party and were still at an early stage. “We are extremely proud ofProperty Observer and the fantastic team that works on it, and will continue to drive and nurture it as part of our portfolio if we decide not to sell,” she wrote.
Property Observer was launched in 2011 and is 90% owned by Private Media. Editor-at-large Jonathan Chancellor — lured to start the site after decades as The Sydney Morning Herald’s property editor — owns the other 10%. He referred us to Go when contacted by Crikey this morning. — Myriam Robin