McIntrye files unfair dismissal claim. The SBS soccer journalist who was sacked after a series of tweets about Anzac Day has filed an unfair dismissal claim against the broadcaster. On Anzac Day Scott McIntyre sent a series of tweets criticising people who commemorate the day, as well as Australian soldiers. He was fired less than 24 hours after the tweets were sent, after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull alerted SBS managing director Michael Ebeid to the tweets. BuzzFeed is reporting that the claim was filed by law firm Maurice Blackburn, which said in a statement:

“It is alleged SBS took action without a proper investigation and consideration of all relevant issues. It will be contended that Mr McIntyre had an unblemished work record and if a proper process had been followed, he would still be employed in his chosen career.”

Alms for the poor (academics). The Conversation will lose 25% of its budget from July 1 after not having its federal funding renewed in the recent budget. It isn’t wasting any time in trying to make up the shortfall, plastering a banner across the top of the site soliciting for donations. Wikipedia does the same thing, although unlike Wikipedia, The Conversation‘s donations banner disappears once you click through to donate.

Apollo deal falls over. The biggest print media transaction in the US (apart from spin-offs) for several years fell over late last week when buyout group Apollo Global Management abandoned a complicated plan to pay the US$400 million Digit First Media was asking for its collection of wholly and partially owned daily and weekly papers.

Digital First revealed the Apollo decision in a memo to staff on Friday, which made it way into the company’s newspapers. It seems Apollo started getting cold feet as it did due diligence on the various newspapers involved in the transaction, including 10 owned with the newspaper side of Gannett, which is about to be spun off. Gannett is now seen as moving to buy out Digital First and take control of the papers ahead of that spin-off in the next six weeks.

DFM manages more than 800 print and online products serving 67 million readers each month, mostly in California and the southwest. US analysts say Apollo realised the Digital First papers, while carrying little debt, had been cut to the bone (so no easy yards in cost cutting) and had limited upside for the private equity style of management — loading the assets up with debt and repaying that from cash flow. The papers’ profitability was also said to be low, especially for the US$400 million asking price. The bottom line is that Digital First is controlled by private equity owners who had done a copybook revamp of the papers and taken out all the gains. — Glenn Dyer

Video of the day. Barnaby Joyce goes up against Captain Jack Sparrow … and Boo and Pistol.

Front page of the day. The Daily Tele chose to focus on Football Federation Australia boss Frank Lowy’s tumble off the podium at yesterday’s A-League grand final, rather than Sydney FC’s loss to Melbourne Victory.

Peter Fray

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