Spin Cycles. Sydney’s lord mayor Clover Moore has hit back at a story that appeared today on the front page of The Daily Telegraph, which accused her of having more media advisers than the Premier and Prime Minister.
The story, Moore claims, errs in comparing the total public relations staff of the City of Sydney with only the personal political advisers of others, giving Moore an inflated figure.
“It’s absolute nonsense to compare the media and communications staff that work in my office and the City of Sydney with the personal offices of the Premier and Prime Minister without taking into account the hundreds of media and communications staff that work in all of the State and Federal agencies that service the Government,” the mayor said in a statement. She added that her office has three communications staff members, and the broader city government has 12. This compares to the four personal media and communications staff members of both the Prime Minister and Premier, and the nearly 1,600 media and communication staff members in the federal government, the statement says.
It’s not the first time the Daily Telegraph has taken on Moore’s public relations spend. This time last year it ran a very similar story which also compared her unfavourably with the Prime Minister and Premier.
And as a side note, we are hoping the Tele‘s digital wizards are regretting their choice of a disembodied head in a washing machine today.
Sky’s the limit. Buried in the 2013-14 accounts of Nine Entertainment (but absent from that of fellow shareholder, Seven West Media) are the rare basic details of how Australia’s pay TV domestic news monopoly, Sky News, went in the year to June. The brief accounts confirm that Sky News (and its parent, Australian News Channel Pty Ltd) is a very profitable business. Unlike its local shareholders, Nine and Seven, and analogue media groups, such as Fairfax Media, APN and News Corp Australia (which manages Sky News of the UK’s 33% stake in Australian News Channel) Sky News and Australian News Channel lifted revenue, earnings and fattened profit margins in 2013-14.
In fact the Australian News Channel and Sky News were more profitable than the News Corp papers, The Australian in 2013-14, The Daily Telegraph and probably most other papers (News won’t release the figures) in that Sky made a profit after paying tax, which is a very rare event at News.
Australian News Channel had a profit margin before tax of 23%, up from 20%. That’s certainly better than News Corp Australia and any of its papers. It’s certainly a better performer than the Ten Network in that Sky News is actually profitable, unlike Ten. The margin is also better than Nine Network’s 19.7%, and close to Seven Network’s 25.7%.
Nine said in the notes to the accounts (where the disclosures were made) that its 33.3% stake in Australian News Channel was worth $32.07 million, up from $31.16 million the year before. On Nine’s valuation, Sky News is worth around $100 million, or more. On the basis of the pre-tax earnings, it could be worth $120 million or more. — Glenn Dyer
ISIS the target of satire in the Middle East, writes the Associated Press:
“…television networks across the Middle East have begun airing cartoons and comedy programs using satire to criticize the group and its claims of representing Islam.
And while not directly confronting the group’s battlefield gains, the shows challenge the legitimacy of its claims and chip away at the fear some have that the extremists are unstoppable.”
What are we funding now? As the government slashes the ABC and SBS, it’s also just given $21 million in funding to Disney in return for the company shooting Pirates of the Caribbean 5 in Australia, reports Variety:
“Disney had previously received agreement for federal government funding of ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,’ but that project was shelved when director David Fincher dropped out.
“Disney sought to have the funding promise re-allocated to the new film and topped up to a figure equal to 30% of its Australian budget.
‘The government is pleased to agree to Disney’s request to enable earlier funding to be repurposed for the production of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’,’ said Brandis in a statement. “Any decision to film productions in Australia (such as ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ or ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’) is a commercial matter for Disney.'”