In what is a fitting gift for ABC’s 90th anniversary, Qantas has signed a new deal with the public broadcaster for ABC news bulletins to be shown on Qantas flights and in airport lounges.
The settlement means Sky News Australia will no longer be screened in the airline’s lounges, a move that will please critics of the divisive pay-TV channel.
There have long been calls to remove Sky News from lounges. Last year, News Corp Australia’s channel was suspended by YouTube for broadcasting misinformation about Covid-19, and last month it was identified as a major “content hub” for climate science deniers. But the calls were loudest after former Senator David Leyonhjelm made sexist and defamatory comments about Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young on Rowan Dean’s Outsiders program.
Starting Friday, passengers on Qantas domestic and international flights will see two customized bulletins every day, including business, sports, weather and entertainment reports.
But there is a silver lining to Sky. The Australian reports that the channel may be outside airports but will now be shown on cruise ships.
Paper airplane era ends
Gone are the days of spotting piles of free copies of the Australian in airport lounges. The deal between Qantas and News Corp. ended in 2020 when the pandemic hit and will not be renewed as we all travel more. But the Oz has signed a contract with Qantas to instead provide free digital copies of the national newspaper, available while passengers are in airport lounges and on domestic flights.
Ninety years young
On Thursday night, many of the ABC’s current and former employees gathered on the air and behind the scenes at Aunt’s Ultimo studios to celebrate her 90th birthday. Comedians from ABC shows in the ’80s and ’90s, including Tim Ferguson and Wendy Harmer, mixed with current stars Mark Humphries and Luke McGregor.
RN Breakfast then and now hosts Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas, both dressed in sparkly outfits to watch the two-hour live show at Studio 22 and party in the foyer after the historic broadcast featuring everyone from the Play School’s original Benita Collings to the Logie-winning sports presenter Tony Armstrong, Bluey and B1 and B2.
Veteran journalists Sue Spencer (Four Corners), Deb Masters (Australian Story), John Cleary (Sunday Nights), Quentin Dempster (7.30), Jonathan Holmes (Media Watch) and former Sydney newscaster Richard Morecroft hung out for a slice of birthday cake baked by The Cook and the Chef’s Maggie Beer.
The Back in Time for… host and political journalist Annabel Crabb was the only one brave enough to attack the unwieldy three-layer cake as Stan Grant, Craig Reucassel, Michael Theo of Love on the Spectrum and actor and singer Justine Clarke watched. They were an eclectic group, but they all had one thing in common: love for Aunt.
Nine’s cash splash
It’s been 15 years since Channel Nine employees received the last of the legendary lavish Christmas hampers, a tradition started by Kerry Packer, who died in 2005.
The media mogul was then famous for giving every employee of his TV and magazine empire a basket worth about $300. It contained a large ham or side of smoked salmon plus a turkey, two bottles of wine, Christmas pudding, cake and various snacks, spices and sweets. In 2007, the new owners of the Packer assets told everyone the generosity was over, though the workforce is still getting a slimmed-down offer.
But this week, Nine Entertainment CEO Mike Sneesby delighted staff with a fiscal year-end “recognition bonus” of $1,750.
All permanent employees who joined Nine before April 1, including newspaper associates from the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, and who are not yet on an executive bonus plan, will receive the money.
“The strength of our business and our financial performance is the result of great performance in every area of our business, and you’ve all played your part in that,” Sneesby said in a note to staff.
“The effort, professionalism and sheer tenacity of each of you to achieve that success is certainly appreciated by myself, the board of directors and the leadership team,” he added.
In TV terms, Nine has had success with Ash Barty’s Australian Open win and the ratings that is Married at First Sight.
A house divided
Ten’s The Project is tabloid fodder. The Daily Mail, news.com.au, the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun all love a good headline about anything Waleed Aly, Lisa Wilkinson or Carrie Bickmore said on show or did outside of work.
But what happens when your clickbait stories about The Project directly contradict each other and they’re on the same page on the same day?
News.com.au found out on Wednesday when the same Project interview was written by several reporters, each of whom had different opinions.
A report headlined “Project hosts crushed for ‘soft’ interview”, saying the panel had been “way too soft” on Mali Cooper, the Blockade Australia protester who allegedly locked himself behind the wheel of a car in the middle of rush hour traffic in the Sydney Harbor tunnel.
“You would think, given the level of outrage and frustration right now, The Project would be asking some tough questions,” said 2GB host Mark Levy.
‘They asked her ‘oh Mali, how are you feeling?’ How does she feel?! What about the people of Sydney, how do they feel?”
Another report on the same page headlined “‘Privileged’: Activist grilled by Project hosts” said the 22-year-old had been getting tough questions from the hosts.
Kate Langbroek asked Cooper, “What do you think your disruption has to do with climate change? People find you extremely divisive.
“You’re talking about privileges, but the ultimate privilege was probably you deciding whether people could work or not?”
Canavan .’s Capital Efforts
Queensland Senator Matt Canavan’s personal media crusade to promote coal and protest vaccine mandates and measures to curb global warming has finally reached a roadblock.
Whether interviewed on Sky News, commercial TV or the ABC, Canavan puts a catchphrase on a TV screen behind him to reinforce his message. “BUILD COAL POWER STATIONS”, “A HUGE WIN FOR COAL”, “GLASGOW PLANE WATCH” and “NET ZERO WOULD COST” have appeared in his home studio, where he holds multiple zoom interviews each week.
As we told you last month, the ABC has a policy against airborne commercial communications, but because coal isn’t a specific brand, it wasn’t an obvious infringement.
So a compromise was reached, and Greg Jennett on the ABC News Channel offered a disclaimer before an interview: “And for viewers unfamiliar with Senator Canavan’s lineup, we offer the standard disclaimer that he uses his own camera equipment.” his own office and we do not exercise any control over messages in that office.”
Canavan declined to comment.
Goodbye to Ramsay Street
The Ten network has confirmed that the final episode of Neighbors will air on main channel 10 and 10 Peach on Thursday, July 28 at 7:30 PM.
After 37 years and 8,903 episodes, it will all come to an end with an emotional 90 minute finale as favorites including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce return to Ramsay Street to celebrate with the locals of Erinsborough.