Business of Media
Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation action against Network Ten, Lisa Wilkinson and the ABC begins in Federal Court
Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann will take on Network Ten and the ABC in the Federal Court in Sydney today in defamation action over allegations he raped his former colleague Brittany Higgins at Parliament House, report the ABC’s Patrick Bell and Elizabeth Byrne.
The allegations made against Lehrmann remain unresolved after a criminal trial in the ACT Supreme Court collapsed due to juror misconduct, and plans for a retrial were later abandoned because of fears for Higgins’s health.
There have been no findings against Lehrmann, who maintains his innocence.
Open AI’s future uncertain as nearly all staff threaten to follow ex-boss Sam Altman to Microsoft
Nearly all of OpenAI’s employees have threatened to quit and follow ousted leader Sam Altman to work at the company’s biggest investor, Microsoft, unless the current board resigns, leaving the future of the high-profile artificial intelligence start-up increasingly uncertain, report Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance, Ed Ludlow and Vlad Savov.
More than 700 of the AI firm’s roughly 770 employees signed a letter on Monday (US time) addressed to OpenAI’s board stating that the signatories are “unable to work for or with people that lack competence, judgment and care for our mission and employees.” The letter called for every member of the board to resign and for Altman to be reinstated, or else employees might jump to Microsoft. The software giant “has assured us there are positions for all OpenAI employees,” the letter said.
Judith Neilson Institute to return in 2024 with a hands-on approach
Billionaire philanthropist Judith Neilson’s bid to save journalism is ready to be revived after a year of turmoil which cast doubt over the future of her $100 million pledge to fund new media projects, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.
Board members of the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas (JNI) will meet next week to approve a strategy proposal and paper outlining the organisation’s revival. If approved, the institute will return early next year, with Neilson still committed to spending the remaining $70 million of her original promise to give journalism “a shot in the arm”, according to the chief executive of her foundation.
Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch meets Volodymyr Zelenskiy in signal of support for Ukraine
The Fox Corp chief executive, Lachlan Murdoch, has met with Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the Ukrainian capital in what Kyiv said was a “very important signal” of support at a time when global media attention has shifted from the war with Russia, reports The Guardian’s Amanda Meade.
The media mogul, who last week took over as News Corp chairman from his father, Rupert, was accompanied by two reporters from his stable: Benjamin Hall from Fox News and Jerome Starkey from the UK tabloid the Sun.
Hall was badly injured by Russian bombs while covering the war in Ukraine while cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian fixer Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed.
Craig Hutchison has finally addressed reports of SEN’s money woes
Craig Hutchison has finally responded to repeated doubts over the financial state of his media empire, calling them “laughable”, reports News Corp.
“The facts haven’t changed. Let me run over them again,” Hutchison begins.
“Our business made less than $5 million profit and … our debt has become quite famous, it’s $28 million or about 12 weeks of turnover.
“That’s on the public record and we’ve been very public since June that we’re seeking to reduce that.”
Radio host Jackie O Henderson rushed to hospital during live radio show
Jackie O will be back co-hosting her hit radio program with co-host Kyle Sandilands on Wednesday after she was rushed to hospital after becoming unwell live on air, reports News Corp’s Blake Antrobus.
Sandilands told KIIS FM Henderson had left the studios to get medical attention after experiencing “tingling down her arm” on Tuesday morning. Tingling down the arm can be considered a symptom of a heart attack.
But in an Instagram posted to “our loyal listeners”, the radio station confirmed Henderson had been given the all-clear.
Netflix to sell off Crown props
Many of The Crown’s fans have long hoped that it would be brought up to the present day to cover everything from Megxit to the King’s accession. It doesn’t look likely, reports The Australian’s Liam Kelly.
About 450 costumes, props and sets made for the Netflix series are to be sold at auction next year, giving fans the chance to wear Diana’s “revenge” dress or stir a cocktail with the Queen Mother’s swizzle stick.
Highlights include a fibreglass replica of Westminster Abbey’s coronation chair, complete with Stone of Scone underneath (and an estimate of pounds 20,000) and what is claimed to be the world’s only copy of the Gold State Coach (pounds 50,000). You could buy the front door to No 10, complete with lantern, railings and boot scrapers, which is expected to fetch pounds 30,000, or replica wrought-iron Buckingham Palace gates for as much as pounds 8,000. A version of Diana’s 1987 Jaguar XJ-S may cost up to pounds 20,000.
Better Homes and Gardens star Ed Halmagyi announces he’s leaving Seven
Better Homes and Gardens star Ed Halmagyi has announced he’s leaving the show after 20 years, reports News Corp’s Lexie Cartwright.
The Melbourne chef, 48, who first joined the Seven lifestyle program in 2003, is departing the series to focus on a personal business venture.
“After more than two decades of sharing recipes as a presenter on Better Homes and Gardens, I have made the decision to step back from my role on the show,” Halmagyi said in a statement.
BBC take UK version of Top Gear off air for the foreseeable future, citing ‘exceptional circumstances’
The BBC has canned popular show Top Gear for the foreseeable future due to what it says are “exceptional circumstances”, reports the ABC’s Liana Walker.
Presenter and former England cricket allrounder Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff was injured in a crash while filming the show last year at Top Gear’s test track in Surrey.
Premiership hero and leader of the AFL’s stats revolution: Ted Hopkins dies
Ted Hopkins, the former Carlton footballer best known for his role in the biggest and most famous comeback in VFL/AFL grand final history, has died aged 74, reports Nine Publishing’s Jake Niall.
Carlton confirmed on Tuesday that Hopkins, a member of the club’s famed 1970 premiership team, coached by the great Ron Barassi, had died.
Hopkins died on Monday after being unwell for some time.
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