New Yorker sacks journo. The New Yorker journalist best known for his devastating interview with Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci has been sacked by the news magazine for what it says was improper sexual conduct. Ryan Lizza has said the allegations arise from what had been a respectful relationship, and that he hasn’t broken any of The New Yorker‘s company policies. The victim — who hasn’t been named — issued a statement through her lawyers contradicting Lizza’s response. CNN has also said Lizza, who is also one of their paid contributors, will not be used on air until they’ve investigated the claims. Lizza’s report of a call from Scaramucci ended up with the newly appointed White House communications director resigning before he barely started the job.

The revolving door. Four Corners has added a roster of heavy-hitters to its staff for next year. Joining the ABC’s flagship investigative news program in 2018: Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill, 7.30 reporter (and recipient of this year’s Walkley Award for her book Cardinal) Louise Milligan, The Sydney Morning Herald‘s state political editor Sean Nicholls and producer Lesley Robinson.

Gawker to be revived. Ex-employees of defunct gossip and news website Gawker are trying to revive the site, with a Kickstarter campaign they hope will fund a member-driven site. Gawker closed in 2016 after a lawsuit over a number of posts including a sex tape, which saw professional wrestler Hulk Hogan awarded $140 million. The lawsuit was in part funded by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who recently said he was interested in buying the site. Former editor Elizabeth Spiers said she would sit on the board of the new Gawker. The Kickstarter campaign page says the archives would be preserved, and writers and editors would be employed under a membership model if successful.

InDaily joins Press Council. The Australian Press Council’s newest member is Adelaide news site InDaily. The independent daily newsletter and website replaced The Independent Weekly in November, 2010, and is owned by Solstice Media. In a statement, editor David Washington said he was pleased to be joining: “(It’s) a logical step for InDaily after establishing ourselves as an important part of South Australia’s media landscape,” he said.

NBC drops out of Fox buyers’ race. And then there was one. US media giant Comcast (NBC Universal) has dropped out of the race to buy assets from the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox. In a statement published by Reuters, Comcast said:

“When a set of assets like Fox’s becomes available, it is our responsibility to evaluate if there is a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders. That is what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer.”

Comcast’s withdrawal was first report by The Wall Street Journal, which is controlled by the Murdochs’ News Corp. Comcast came forward as a possible suitor for the assets Fox was looking to sell when the talks with Disney seemed to stall. Disney returned to the fray last week and there is talk an announcement could come in the next two days. — Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings. The ABC kept viewers interested last night, with Malcolm Turnbull’s appearance on Q&A (689,000 on ABC and ABC News). The end result, it was just another notch on his end-of-year publicity round where he seems to have pitched his message to what he and his handlers thought the various media outlets might want to talk about. But on Q&A he did at least meet members of the audience who had their own minds and difficult questions.

Back Roads on the ABC (1.05 million national) was more than just a summer fill-in. Like the first episode on the town of Corryong (in Victoria’s high country), last night’s ep was set in an even more isolated part of Australia — the outback area around Maree and the Oodnadatta Track in South Australia. Back Roads was again the most watched non-news program nationally.

Poor old Channel Seven seems to be running out of programs for even its digital channels — guess who re-appeared last night and is back again same time same channel on 7TWO tonight at 8.30pm? Yes, you got it in one: Inspector Morse has been brought out of retirement once again to do his duty (245,000 nationally). So now we have Endeavour (Morse as a stripling detective) on the ABC and Lewis has just retired, again (last week from 7TWO). And Frost is doing duty again on Wednesday nights after time on Monday evenings. The Vicar of Dibley has been out and about as well and no doubt Fawlty Towers will return soon. And Hogan’s Heroes and Frasier repeats are back on Ten’s Eleven, along with a host of favs from the ’80s and ’90s (Diagnosis Murder and Jake and the Fatman). Will and Grace are back, now that’s OK.

In regional markets Seven News was on top with 542,000, followed by Seven News/TT with 481,000, then Home and Away with 414,000. The 5.30pm part of The Chase was 4th with 351,000 and the repeat of an ep of Highway Patrol was 5th with 345,000. Back Roads was 6th with 341,000. — Read the rest on the Crikey website

Peter Fray

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