Secrecy law a burden: HRC

Original article by Nicola Berkovic
The Australian – Page: 5 : 18-Oct-19

Details of submissions to News Corp Australia’s legal challenge to the validity of a police raid on the home of journalist Annika Smethurst have been released. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s submission has broadly supported News Corp’s stance, although it has taken a different legal approach to the issue, arguing that secrecy laws limit the freedom of political expression. Constitutional law expert George Williams, says the two approaches could both support the media group’s view that the raid on Smethurst was unlawful.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

ABC goes begging as it pays execs 70pc more

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 3 : 17-Oct-19

The ABC’s latest annual report shows that its executive management team and board of directors received total remuneration of $6.1m in 2018-19, compared with $3.6m in 2017-18. The public broadcaster added two people to its executive ranks during the latest reporting period. MD David Ander­son was paid $1.14m in 2018-19, while predecessor Michele Guthrie received a $1.35m termination payout. The ABC has reported a 2018-19 net operating surplus of $38.3m.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Southern Cross hit hard by sell-off

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 16-Oct-19

Southern Cross Media Group has advised that EBITDA for the first half of 2019-20 is expected to be within the range of $60m to $68m, compared with $82m for the same period in 2018-19. The group has also reported that revenue for the first quarter was 8.5 per cent lower than previously, due to challenging conditions in the advertising market. CFO Nick McKechnie says the group has no plans for further asset sales after selling its broadcast transmission assets in August.

CORPORATES
SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, BROADCAST AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Over 1.5 million Australians shop for shoes each month. Customers of The Athlete’s Foot are the most satisfied

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 15-Oct-19

New research from Roy Morgan shows that 1.59 million Australians aged 14+ shop at a shoe store in an average four-week period. Meanwhile, The Athlete’s Foot has won the monthly Shoe Store Customer Satisfaction Award for August 2019, with a customer satisfaction rating of 84%. It is followed by Williams on 77% and Spend Less Shoes on 73%. In a concerning trend for the industry, no brand has had an increase in customer satisfaction over the past year, but several have experienced troubling decreases. The final brand among Australia’s top four footwear retailers, Payless Shoes, suffered the most, with a 12% drop. These results are from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, which is derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year in their homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, THE ATHLETE’S FOOT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WILLIAMS SHOES, SPENDLESS SHOES PTY LTD, PAYLESS SHOES PTY LTD

Big Digital shift finally under way, says News

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 9-Oct-19

News Corporation’s CEO Robert Thomson says digital platforms are starting to direct revenue to companies that produce original news content. He expects the flow of revenue to content producers will increase in coming years, which will benefit media companies and their shareholders. News Corp Australia recently struck a deal to be the exclusive local provider of news content for Apple’s News+ subscription service.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, APPLE INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Carnegie finally tunes out of Macquarie

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 8-Oct-19

Nine Entertainment Company has reached the 90 per cent threshold to compulsorily acquire Macquarie Media, after venture capitalist Mark Carnegie accepted the offer of $1.46 per share. Carnegie says he had no option other than agreeing to the Nine deal, and he adds that radio – and news talk radio in particular – is a powerful media that will be a good fit for Nine’s other media assets. Nine CEO Hugh Marks has also stressed the power of talk radio and says he is looking forward to working with the Macquarie team.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, WILSON ASSET MANAGEMENT, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED

Streaming wars: Disney strips content from Foxtel

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 7-Oct-19

Pay-TV group Foxtel will revamp its movie channels package in response to the loss of content from the Walt Disney Company. Foxtel’s existing Disney Movie Channel will cease broadcasting on 7 November, ahead of the launch of the Disney+ subscription video-on-demand service on 19 November. The Disney and Disney Jnr channels will remain on Foxtel until at least the end of February. Meanwhile, Foxtel plans to launch its own drama and entertainment streaming service, while Stan owner Nine Entertainment is said to be in talks with Disney regarding a content deal.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, WALT DISNEY COMPANY, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NETFLIX INCORPORATED

ACMA probes Gordon’s Prime shares

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 7-Oct-19

WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon currently has a 19.7 per cent stake in rival regional TV broadcaster Prime Media Group. This comprises a direct stake of 11.6 per cent and an 8.1 per cent stake held via a cash-settled share swap. The Australian Communications & Media Authority is investigating Gordon after his ‘relevant interest’ in Prime exceeded the maximum of 20 per cent earlier in 2019. However, ACMA is expected to conclude that the breach was an error caused by the failure of a middleman to properly execute a swap with Swiss bank Vontobel.

CORPORATES
WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, VONTOBEL BANK, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED

Mags next as Seven rings in changes

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 23 : 7-Oct-19

Pacific ­Magazines may be the next casualty of Seven West Media’s restructuring under new CEO James Warburton, with reports that Seven is in talks to sell the business to Bauer Media. The two parties have declined to comment on the potential deal, which would have to be approved by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. Pacific Magazines’ revenue fell by 7.2 per cent in 2018-19, to $129.4m. About 180 jobs are expected to be cut at Seven West Media as part of the restructuring.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, BAUER MEDIA KG

Tweaking will not protect journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 24 : 4-Oct-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter is at odds with Law Council president Arthur Moses over a ministerial directive that allows him to veto prosecutions against journalists over reports that may breach secrecy laws. Porter’s ministerial directive also seemingly contradicts one issued by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in early August, in the wake of the Australian Federal Police’s media raids. Porter’s ministerial directive could potentially enable him to kill off AFP cases against media companies and journalists that have been sanctioned by Dutton.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE