Australia Nine finally finds a new CEO but not before hitting the Fairfax mob for four
Dominion Sues Mike Lindell for $1.3 Billion, More than Four times MyPillow's Annual Revenues
Dominion claimed the MyPillow CEO had caused financial and reputational harm to the firm.The voting machine supplier has sought more than $651 million in punitive damages, and a further $651.7 million in compensation from Lindell over his baseless allegations. According to the filing, the company is also seeking an injunction to have all of Lindell's "false and defamatory" remarks about Dominion removed.
After months of infighting led by chairman Peter Costello, the board of Nine Entertainment has opted for Mike Sneesby, chief executive of the Stan streaming video business, to lead the company after current CEO Hugh Marks steps down at the end of the month.
Sneesby was preferred over Chris Janz, the most senior Fairfax executive at Nine and the one who has overseen the stabilising of the major titles: The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age in Melbourne and The Australian Financial Review.
Investors didn’t care. The shares edged up to $3.07 and company’s market value remained above $5 billion.
First Capitol Riot Hearing Only Raised More Questions About Jan. 6
Nearly seven weeks after the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the people tasked with protecting the building on Jan. 6 testified for the first time about the failures that allowed a pro-Trump mob to overrun the seat of American government in an unprecedented disruption of democracy. But nearly every answer they gave about what happened that day just raised more questions. Over the course of four hours, the former chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, and the former security heads of the House and Senate, largely pointed the finger at each other—or blamed others not present at the hearing—and, above all, minimized their own failures.
For the remaining Fairfax Media board members and executives it’s a defeat that has already seen, leave Nine (he’s also the chair of Bank of Queensland which is about to swallow ME Bank in a $1.3 billion takeover that will test him and his executives).
And the internecine board battle between the Niners and the Fairfaxers took a nasty turn this week with leaked allegations mentioning Nick Falloon, the former Fairfax chair and Nine deputy chair, and the alleged misuse of a corporate golf membership.
That was a pretty vindictive leak from within Nine’s upper management and board as the decision on a new CEO was approaching. It was designed to neutralise Falloon and Fairfaxers. How long Falloon remains on the board is now a moot point.
Dominion Voting's Lawsuit Against Mike Lindell Cites 'FightForTrump' MyPillow Discount Code
The lawsuit alleges that the discount codes helped boost MyPillow sales by between 30 and 40 percent.The lawsuit, which the voting systems company filed Monday against Lindell and MyPillow in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges Lindell marketed his products toward consumers who were already engaging with election-related conspiracy theories involving Dominion. The lawsuit further alleges that Lindell promoted offer codes linked to or inspired by those theories to boost his company's sales.
Video: Boom or Bust: The phenomenal rise of Bitcoin (Sky News Australia)
Another Fairfax Media director, Mickie Rosen, is also seen as possibly leaving the board.
The golf membership leak was pettiness in the extreme, especially compared with the way Nine — under Costello, a senior Liberal Party member and former Coalition federal treasurer — allowed itself to facilitate a major fundraiser for the Liberal Party via a function in its biggest TV studio at the old facilities in the northern Sydney suburb of Artarmon.
The function, in September 2019, cost $10,000 a head. That damaged Nine and Fairfax’s standing as independent media companies.
The boardroom infighting has also marred the end of the time at Nine of Marks, whose interim report last week revealed a sharp rise in earnings and solid cost control. It impressed the market and saw Nine’s share price reach record highs and its mark value top $5 billion for the first time — and clearly more than the mooted merged value of the two companies of about $4.2 billion in late 2018.
Victory secure badly needed A-League win
Melbourne Victory are off the bottom of the A-League table after securing a 2-0 win against Wellington to ease pressure on under-siege coach Grant Brebner.Entering Wednesday night's match at AAMI Park under increased scrutiny with just four points from seven starts this season, Victory finally discovered some potency in attack.
It also obscures the clear success of Sneesby at Stan. Sneesby joined at its inception on January 26, 2015, from Cudo, the group-buying website part-owned by Nine. After Stan lost millions and endured a slow build of subscribers, it now has 2.3 million (growth has slowed in the past year) and is No. 2 behind Netflix.
In the December-half results for Nine last week, Stan was the star with 28% rise in revenue to $149 million (thanks to a price rise), a smaller 10% rise in costs to $112.6 million, and a 161% surge in EBITDA to $36.5 million — a rise of $22.5 million.
Sneesby stepped up commissioning of local programming — movies and series (imitating the Netflix model) — and led Nine to approve start moving into live and recorded sport with rugby union and tennis, led by Wimbledon and the French Open.
Stan Sport will have a separate subscription model to the main offering and will be aimed at Foxtel’s Kayo and Fox Sports.
Janz’s performance in overseeing digital and publishing was also solid in the December half. In publishing, for example, earnings rose thanks to big cost cuts and despite falling revenues.
Nine said the publishing business — mostly Fairfax mastheads along with Pedestrian Group and Drive — had a 9% slide in revenues to $263 million for the half. A 17%, or $39.5 million, drop in costs more than offset the $24 million fall in revenue and as a result a 27% jump in EBITDA to $68 million.
Publishing had a 26% growth in digital subscription and licensing revenue in the half, and in broadcasting Nine had strong gains in broadcast video revenues as well.
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Soccer official booted after racially-charged speech .
The U.S. Soccer Federation's athletes council removed one of its members after making a controversial speech.Seth Jahn, a 38-year-old from Florida who played for the U.S. seven-a-side ParaOlympic team at the 2015 Parapan American Games, spoke against repeal of what was known as Policy 604-1, put in place in response to U.S. women's team star Megan Rapinoe kneeling in support of Colin Kaepernick.