Sunrise steals vision. Just after 8.20am this morning (Sydney time) Seven’s Sunrise played a sneaky steal on the ABC’s Australian Story program from last night about the complicated adoption problems of a Melbourne family. Sunrise ran the vision without an on-air credit to Australian Story, either on the screen or from hosts David Koch and Sam Armytage. The ABC watermark in the bottom right of the picture was partially obscured by the Sunrise information bar that runs across the bottom of the screen. Seven whinges about how Nine and Ten pinch its news vision — it should know better. Sunrise then did an interview with the Melbourne couple. Very cheap. All it would have taken was an Australian Story acknowledgement at the top of frame. — Glenn Dyer

And we have a date. Netflix has announced this morning that it’ll launch on March 24. The date, as Dan Barrett has pointed out over at Televised Revolution (where he correctly guessed the launch date a week and a half ago), allows Netflix to capitalise on the March 20 American launch of new murder-mystery drama Bloodline — which Netflix has the rights to in Australia as well as America — as well as coming a day after the media sections of both The Australian and The Australian Financial Review on Monday, March 23, allowing for maximum promotional coverage.

Netflix’s launch announcement comes a day after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced it wouldn’t oppose Foxtel and Channel Seven teaming up in the Presto joint venture, while Fairfax and Channel Nine have already had 100,000 users sign up to Stan’s trial period. Within a fortnight we’ll have all four (including Quickflix) streaming-video-on-demand players competing properly in Australia — though whether or not Australia has room for more than one to reign triumphant is still unclear. — Myriam Robin

Rebekah Brooks: the Luddite, nightmare manager. There’s more on Rebekah Brooks and her prodigal return to Rupert Murdoch at News Corp. UK media are having a field day pointing out how technology and managing employees have historically been big challenges for Rebekah Brooks, who is about to be installed as head of Storyful, a social media news aggregator and one of News Corp’s more interesting online businesses.

The Guardian ran a spoof interview with Brooks about her new job.

The Financial Times reported:

“At a criminal trial last year, a News Corp executive recalled how she had refused to exchange her BlackBerry for an iPhone because she ‘did not like to embrace new technology’. IT, the executive continued, ‘was not Brooks’s strong point’.”

The Financial Times points out that investors in News Corp will be watching Brooks closely:

“Ms Brooks is likely to have much to prove as an executive. Although she was acquitted of all charges related to phone-hacking and payments to public officials at her trial, her own defence conceded she was a poor manager.

“Journalists at subsequent trials have depicted her as temperamental and frequently absent from the office for long periods. Ms Brooks was ‘nothing short of a nightmare on occasions’, said one former journalist.”

The FT says “Ms Brooks will also be involved in other online ventures. News Corp has invested in The Handpicked Collection, a luxury British e-commerce website, in the hope of extracting more revenue from its loyal audiences.” That will be right up her Chipping Norton/Cotswolds upper-class set where she and her racehorse-training husband mixed with the likes of UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife.

None of this will be reported in News Corp papers in Australia, of course. We wonder what sons James and Lachlan (not to mention the exiled daughter, Liz) will make of Brooks’ return to the Murdoch empire. — Glenn Dyer

Theorising The Dress. Last week, everyone on social media was momentarily plunged into madness, commenting furiously on the colour of a dress. The story was started by BuzzFeed, garnering a whopping 25 million views on its article. Other media outlets gave the fluff similar prominence, though it’s unlikely anyone got as much of a traffic boost as BuzzFeed. As Paul Ford has written on Medium, BuzzFeed’s success at coming up with these things comes down to its culture:

“Twenty-five million is a number to make an editorial director angry. People are going to chew their lips over those impressions. How do I get that? They’ll wonder. How do I get that sweet, sweet traffic? Why do those children get the traffic with frolic while my attempts to go viral fall flat at hundreds of thousands of impressions? …

What I saw, as I looked through the voluminous BuzzFeed coverage of the dress, is an organization at the peak of a craft they’ve been honing since 2006. They are masters of the form they pioneered. If you think that’s bullshit, that’s fine — I think most things are bullshit too. But they didn’t just serendipitously figure out that blue dress. They created an organization that could identify that blue dress, document it, and capture the traffic. And the way they got those 25 million impressions, as far as I can tell from years of listening to their people, reading their website, writing about them, and not working or writing for them, was something like: Build a happy-enough workplace where people could screw around and experiment with what works and doesn’t, and pay everyone some money.”

Headline of the day. This from today’s Geelong Advertiser, where they seem to do things a bit differently …

Peter Fray

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