Media Wrap: The Ten deal; take it or leave it; 'vanity publishing'; and Telstra to push NRL rights

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 1 June 2015

Who is taking the reins at News Corp?

According to the Australian Financial Review there are three people who could potentially be tapped to take the top job at News Corp Australia.

In Joe Aston's Rear Window column he's named News's Peter Tonagh, as well as APN News and Media chief Michael Miller and REA Group and Ten Network chairman Hamish McLennan as a shortlist of candiates who may take over the top job when current CEO Julian Clarke steps down towards the end of the year.

The Ten deal

The AFR has detailed how a potential whole takeover of Network Ten Holdings became a potential 14.9% deal from Foxtel.

The paper, in great length, described how a series of leaks from sources close to negotiations worked to stymie any potential deal.

The AFR also detailed how Citi and Ten pushed for a whole takeover, only to find key shareholder Bruce Gordon was dead against any such deal being struck with a US company, frustrating potential bidders.

Take it or leave it

News Corp has issued an ultimatum to Sky News shareholders Seven, Nine, and BSkyB over a $20 million takeover bid.

According to The Australian, News Corp has become frustrated by a lack of progress on the issue, and has advanced plans to launch its own news service on Foxtel.

The paper said that while none of the three parties have responded formally, only Nine is holding out for a higher price.

'Vanity publishing'

APN News and Media chief executive Michael Miller says main media budgets are down because brands are indulging in “a bit of vanity” by investing in owned assets and content creation.

“The flat market we have seen has been a consequence, I think, of too much farming and not enough hunting by advertisers,” Miller said in an interview with AdNews contributing editor Paul McIntyre for the Australian Financial Review.

“But all they are doing is churning through their own customer base. There needs to be more hunting, which requires external media.”

NRL and Telstra to push digital

The NRL has unveiled a major marketing blitz centring of Telstra's digital subscriptions to the game.

According to The Australian, NRL chief marketer Lewis Pullen unveiled the marketing push would take place over the next couple of months.

He said a renewed focus on digital would not undercut negotiations with TV networks in the current round of rights negotiations

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