Fairfax confirms Domain “boys’ club” complaint. Fairfax has confirmed to The Australian that former Domain CEO Antony Catalano resigned after Domain received a formal allegation that Domain had a “boys’ club” culture, and the allegation was raised with him. Catalano suddenly resigned just two months after Domain spun-off from Fairfax, and The Australian Financial Review, owned by Fairfax, revealed last week that there had been a formal complaint made about the workplace culture at Domain.
Tingle to Aunty. The Australian Financial Review‘s political editor Laura Tingle is moving to the ABC as chief political correspondent for 7.30. She will also write a weekly column for the ABC’s website. The role of chief political correspondent at the flagship current affairs program was left vacant when Chris Uhlmann left the broadcaster to take up a gig as political editor for Channel Nine, and former chief political correspondent Andrew Probyn replaced Uhlmann as political editor.
Good feud guide. Prolific gossip reporter Peter Ford has revealed what he says is the truth behind Studio 10‘s “Brussel sprout-gate” — a feud between hosts Ita Buttrose and Denise Drysdale, which included the latter “pelting” vegetables at Buttrose during a cast photoshoot. Ford told KIIS’s Kyle and Jackie O this morning that Ita was even told she should go to the police over the incident: “[Drysdale] was throwing them at Ita and they were hitting her. She was like pelting her with the Brussel sprouts and Ita was suddenly the victim so her friends were saying ‘you gotta go to the police and report it’.” Gossip columns have been reporting an icy relationship between the two hosts, with Drysdale apparently jealous of preferential treatment for Buttrose. All involved parties deny the existence of a feud.
The revolving door. Ten’s executive director of news John Choueifate has resigned to “pursue several business opportunities”, according to a statement from the network. Choueifate had been in the role since April 2016, and was previously network news director, Sydney director of news, and before that was at Seven. A replacement hasn’t yet been announced. In the meantime, executive consultant news and current affairs Peter Meakin will oversee news, along with state news managers.
Oz misses News Corp filing facts. Today’s media section of The Australian carries an extensive report on how Michael Miller, News Corp’s regional executive chairman of News Corp Australia, is planning a big digital push for the company. But the report contained not one financial detail about the way News Corp’s Australian newspapers performed in the December quarter or half year. So to help, here’s some of the data from the company’s latest News Corp filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It was another tough half with a sharp slide in ad revenues for yet another six month period.
Strip out the positive impact of currency movements of at least $41 million for the December, 2017 half year, add in the fall in ad revenues and discount the contributions from Australian Regional Media’s papers in the half year and News Corp’s Australian revenues were down around US$100 million compared with the previous half.
As it was, currency, the purchase of Australian Regional Media and price rises helped push revenues at its Australian newspapers 4% (or US$27 million higher) to US$656 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017. That’s an increase any publisher would welcome.
Advertising revenues rose US$10 million, but that was “more than offset by the $43 million impact of weakness in the print advertising market and lower advertising revenues of $8 million resulting from the sale of Perth Sunday Times in November 2016″.
There was no breakout of earnings by News Corp, but on those figures it is probable the company’s Australian papers turned in a loss for the six months to the end of December. The accounts will be changing dramatically in coming months as the revamp of Foxtel and Fox Sports ownership is completed and the merger started. The sheer size of the balance sheet of Foxtel/Fox Sports will overshadow the Australian newspapers in importance as sources of revenues and earnings. — Glenn Dyer
Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. Last night the contestants were: MKR and the moguls (snow bumps) on Seven, Married At First Sight on Nine and Ten’s I’m A Celebrity. Nine also went to the crypt and resurrected Underbelly and put Chopper Read into the story. Eric Bana did it better nearly 18 years ago. The ABC also had the first part of the two part doco on Bob Hawke (with some interesting parallels to Barnaby Joyce’s situation).
It ended up as an easy win for Seven, as it did on Friday and Saturday nights. The ABC was third behind Nine and Ten struggled in a very distant fourth. Married at First Sight did well for Nine with its confected “wife eliminations”. I’m A Celebrity had an elimination as well for Ten, but MKR and the Winter Olympics plus a solid effort from Seven News won the night.
MKR had 1.71 million national viewers, Married at First Sight had 1.57 million. But in the metros, Married topped the night by the barest of margins The night broadcast of Day 2 of the Games had 1.49 million for Seven (and 1.040 million in the metros) and that ran until 10.30pm, giving Seven the easy win. The first part of the Chopper rewrite of Underbelly was solid for Nine – 1.36 million. The first part of the Bob Hawke doco on the ABC managed 913,000 — it could have easily attracted another 300,000 or more viewers but because it was pitched on probably the most competitive night so far this year, it fell short of its potential (though it nipped past Celebrity by 13,000 viewers).
In the regionals Seven News was tops with 583,000, followed by MKR with 555,000, The Winter Games, Night 2 was third with 457,000, UnderBelly: Chopper Part 1 was fourth with 456,000 and Married at First Sight was fifth with 415,000. — Read the rest on the Crikey website