Media Wrap: TV chiefs rebuke GroupM's claims; Ten buyer spec continues; SBS sacking sparks free speech debate

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 27 April 2015

TV chiefs rebuke GroupM's claims

The Australian is reporting that head honchos from Ten, Seven and Nine are disputing claims made by GroupM's chief investment officer Danny Bass in last week's Australian Financing Review. Last week Bass told The AFR that the next two years are the years the “model breaks” for free-to-air TV stations. Chairman of industry body Free TV and former media buyer Harold Mitchell has told The Australian that he was starting an investigation, describing Bass’s remarks as “very disturbing”, “ill informed” and “naive”.

Ten buyer spec continues

Foxtel is close to agreeing to a deal which would see the pay-TV business take a 14.9% stake in Ten Network Holdings, The AFR is reporting. According to The AFR the deal – if it's to go ahead – will be pushed through before Ten announces its half-year results on Thursday.

SBS sacking sparks free speech debate

After SBS sports reporter, Scott McIntyre, was fired over tweets he sent about Anzac Day, which were deemed offensive by his employer, The Australian is reporting a free speech row is brewing. The tweets, which remain on McIntyre's twitter account, while universally deemed inappropriate, journalists have jumped to McIntyre's defence. Network Ten news anchor Hugh Riminton tweeted SBS managing director Michael Ebeid and told him he had made the wrong decision. “Wrong call @michaelebeid. You had options other than sacking him.”

Sports rights to be a part of media reform

Also in the AFR, The Abbott government has signalled changes to the anti-siphoning of sports events guaranteed for free-to-air television, with the government indicating sports rights must be included in any media reform package. The AFR is reporting that Abbott's office have made clear all aspects of media regulation, including sports rights, must form part of any proposal to abolish ownership restrictions, in order to ensure any package is even-handed.

303Lowe searches for replacement for Kruszelnicki

303Lowe is searching for a new personality to front its campaign for the Abbott government with Ray Martin and Jana Wendt approached, The Australian is reporting. 303Lowe is replacing scientist Karl Kruszelnicki after he came out and said that he regretted being paid to promote the government's climate change message.

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