ACM gets go-ahead to raise stake in Prime

Original article by Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Apr-21

Australian Community Media has been cleared to increase its stake in Seven Network affiliate Prime Media Group to 19.99 per cent. The deal to buy a five per cent stake in Prime from WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon had to be cleared by the Australian Communications & Media Authority, as ACM would exceed the 15 per cent threshold that is deemed to be a controlling interest under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. ACM’s Anthony Catalano says the legislation needs to be updated, as the ‘voices test’ for regional areas does not include digital media. He adds that ACM will have to sell two newspapers in Victoria and New South Wales unless the legislation is changed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA PTY LTD, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY

News Corp to raise $1b as it looks at potential buying spree

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Age – Page: Online : 9-Apr-21

Media giant News Corporation has flagged the potential for acquisitions after announcing plans to raise $US750 million ($985 million) via the issuance of senior notes. It has advised the New York stock exchange that the proceeds of the debt raising will be used for ‘general corporate purposes’, which could include acquisitions and working capital. News Corp has struck several deals in recent weeks, including the acquisition of Investor’s Business Daily.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Retailers set to lift prices as shipping costs soar

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 7-Apr-21

Australian retailers note that shipping costs have tripled in the last 12-15 months, and they will inevitably have to pass some of these costs on to consumers. The cost of shipping goods from China has surged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while The Reject Shop’s CEO Andre Reich says spot shipping rates have blown out to about $2,500; this compares with $US450 to $US500 for contracted rates. Some retailers have indicated that they intend to absorb the increased freight costs.

CORPORATES
THE REJECT SHOP LIMITED – ASX TRS

Nine’s cyber hack still far from over

Original article by Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 3 : 6-Apr-21

Nine Entertainment Company has informed staff that its technology teams have made "remarkable progress" in restoring its key operational systems in the wake of a major cyber attack. However, the media giant has advised that it will be some time before all systems are fully restored, and many employees have been asked to keep working from home. Cybersecurity experts have estimated that the attack could potentially cost Nine more than $1m. It disrupted Nine’s broadcast operations in Sydney, as well as the print editions of its newspapers.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Foxtel can halve Australian drama production under new broadcasting bill

Original article by Amanda Meade
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 1-Apr-21

Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner has questioned the federal government’s decision to slash Foxtel’s local drama quota in its new broadcasting bill. Foxtel is currently required to allocate 10 per cent of its drama budget to producing Australian content, but the bill will reduce this to five per cent. Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has accused the government of favouring its "Murdoch mates"; she has also criticised the bill for failing to impose local content quotas on streaming video providers such as Netflix.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SCREEN PRODUCERS AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, NETFLIX INCORPORATED

E-commerce is booming: PwC

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 : 29-Mar-21

PwC has reported that non-food online sales recorded more than five years’ growth in just 11 months, due to the pandemic. The increase in both food and non-food online sales during the pandemic was reflected in the latest reporting season, with Woolworths reporting that its online sales rose by 92 per cent in the December half, while furnishings and bedding retailer Adairs advised that its online sales had increased by 95.2 per cent. Pure-play online marketplace Kogan stated that its sales rose almost 90 per cent, while Myer’s online sales increased by 71 per cent. Vanessa Brennan from PwC says that the consumer is "now in charge" and that this means that innovation is "now business as usual".

CORPORATES
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, ADAIRS LIMITED – ASX ADH, MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, KOGAN.COM LIMITED – ASX KGN

Regional papers concern

Original article by Miranda Ward
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 29-Mar-21

Country Press Australia is holding talks with both Facebook and Google regarding the news media bargaining code. CPA represents the publishers of 160 regional newspapers nationwide; its negotiations have come at a time when there is growing concern that the Facebook News product will have limited relevance to regional newspapers as it is focused primarily on national news. Australian Community Media is also in talks with Facebook, while it secured a deal with Google in late 2020.

CORPORATES
COUNTRY PRESS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA PTY LTD

Cyber attack disables Nine HQ

Original article by James Madden
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 29-Mar-21

Nine Entertainment Company has become the target of a cyber attack that prevented it from broadcasting live programs such as ‘Weekend Today’ on 28 March. Nine was also forced to broadcast a national news bulletin from Melbourne into the Sydney and Canberra markets. All of Nine’s broadcast and newspaper staff have been told to work from home and avoid accessing the media group’s corporate network until further notice. A number of Australian businesses have recently been subjected to ransomware attacks, but Nine says it has not received a ransom demand.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Audiences, ads will return: NOVA chief

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 8-Mar-21

The Australian radio industry’s advertising revenue across the five capital cities fell by 19 per cent over the six months to December. This was significantly down when compared to free-to-air television, which recorded an increase of 0.6 per cent. However, NOVA Entertainment chief executive Peter Charlton is optimistic of a recovery in radio advertising in 2021, with eight out of its biggest 10 advertisers spending the same or more in the first two months of 2021 as in the same period in 2020; the advertisers in question include Harvey Norman, Coles and Woolworths.

CORPORATES
NOVA ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD

Watchdog’s secret check on Nine

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 19 : 8-Mar-21

It has revealed that the Australian Securities & Investments Commission wrote to Nine Entertainment in early August about possible insider trading by one of its staff. The period in question that ASIC was interested in was from January to 10 July, with correspondence between Nine and ASIC on the matter continuing until 21 August, just days before Nine issued its financial results on 27 August. It is believed the matter is no longer a subject of inquiry, with both Nine and ASIC declining to comment on the issue.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC