sbs miles

Michael Ebeid announces his new gig, an apology from The Advertiser, a response to Ten’s Pilot Week controversy, plus other media tidbits from the day.

The revolving door. Departing SBS managing director Michael Ebeid has announced his new gig — at the newly restructured Telstra. Ebeid will lead the “Enterprise” team from October 8, after finishing at the public broadcaster on October 1. He announced he was leaving after seven years in the role earlier this month.

Fairfax’s ‘dumb mistakes’. The last member of the Fairfax family to lead the company bearing their name, Warwick Fairfax, has given a rare interview following last week’s merger announcement. Fairfax told the ABC’s AM program that Fairfax hadn’t adapted well to the digital era, and that he’d made “dumb mistakes” when he tried to privatise the company. The full interview is here.

Stan figures are hard to come by. Isn’t it odd that a story in the Australian Financial Review (whose owner, Fairfax Media is being wed by Nine Entertainment) has to use a researcher’s estimate of subscribers to the Stan streaming service, owned by Fairfax and Nine and one of the key assets Nine wants from Fairfax?

The AFR reported Monday that the research group Telsyte estimated Netflix had about 3.9 million Australian subscribers, and Stan passed 1 million subscribers in June. Those researchers, like Crikey, probably read a Fairfax Media report from early June about Stan. That story reported in an offhand way that the venture now had 1 million subscribers.

The details of the Stan service will have to be made public in the annual profit releases from both companies next month and the documentation from Fairfax and Nine for their forthcoming nuptials. But before then, you would have thought Fairfax could have easily dropped a new Stan figure into a story to whet the appetite of investors (that’s unless there has been a slowing in subscriber growth and the June figure is more preferred). — Glenn Dyer

The ‘Tiser says sorry. The Advertiser has apologised for a cartoon about the Greek fire tragedy that members of the Greek community said made light of the fatal fires. The cartoon, which depicted warriors putting out fires with vases, was published on Thursday and prompted outrage from the Greek community as “disgusting”.

On Friday, editor Matt Deighton apologised on social media, and again over the weekend in the newspaper. “The cartoon was meant to be a poignant tribute to the Greek people, both the tragedy they are now facing and their undeniable resilience,” Deighton wrote. “It was never our intention to add to the hurt or distress the Greek community has been suffering as a result of the fires. But we accept that we did and, for this, we unreservedly apologise.”

‘Disappointing’ reaction to Pilot Week sausage fest. Ten’s head of content has said she’s “disappointed” in the reaction to its Pilot Week announcement last week — namely, criticism that there were no women headlining any of the new shows.

In a blog post on Ten Daily, chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said the response was “saddening”. McGarvey didn’t specifically address the main criticism — that all the hosted programs are hosted by men — and instead cited the gender divide in Ten’s management team and other programming involving women.

Pilot Week will show single episodes of new programs that will be commissioned based on audience response. Shows include returns to television for Rove McManus and Kyle Sandilands, a show about scandals hosted by disgraced Senator Sam Dastyari and a sitcom starring comedian Dave O’Neil.

CBS boss under sexual misconduct investigation. The immediate fate of the Ten Network’s ultimate boss CBS CEO Les Moonves (long regarded as the most powerful figure in broadcast media in the US) will be discussed at a board meeting in New York tonight.

The company’s independent directors launched an inquiry into sexual harassment complaints against Moonves on Friday, hours before they were laid out in The New Yorker. Moonves is the second high-profile CBS figure to be the subject of sexual harassment claims this year — in May the legendary newsman Charlie Rose (who also worked for the publicly financed PBS network) quit all his roles in the media after multiple women came forward with allegations against him. — Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. In the battle for coverage of the by-elections on Saturday night, ABC News easily won with 226,000 national viewers – News Corp’s Sky News averaged 41,000. Sunday morning and ABC’s Insiders cleaned up with 601,000, nearly 100,000 nationally above recent figures. The combined figure for Insiders would have made it the 12th most watched program yesterday. Seven did well with the one off “male strip show” The Real Full Monty — 1.579 million for fantasy. Read the rest of TV ratings on the Crikey website.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey