Squiz Today / 25 September 2018

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 25 September



Weight Watchers has slimmed down its brand and dropped half its size by dumping ‘weight’ from its name. Now no one knows what the first 'W' represents...


Let us unpack that headline. Michelle Guthrie, the managing director of the ABC, was sacked yesterday by the national broadcaster’s board. Appointed in late 2015, Guthrie is a lawyer by training who’d previously worked for News Corp in London, STAR TV in Hong Kong, and Google in Singapore. But she was let go yesterday despite being just halfway through her five-year contract. ABC chairman Justin Milne cited her “leadership style” as a reason for her termination.

While Guthrie had her defenders, three criticisms/accusations came up repeatedly:

• She wasn’t a strong advocate for the ABC. Guthrie was criticised by ABC staff and supporters for not publicly pushing back against the government’s funding freeze and complaints about its journalists.

• She had a terrible relationship with the board. You think? Reports say Guthrie and Milne did not get on and Milne’s July announcement of ‘Project Jetstream’ – a mega version of the ABC’s on-demand streaming service iView – was the beginning of the end.

• She was an outsider who never ‘got it’. And strikingly, three prominent staff members (Jon Faine, Juanita Phillips and Sally Neighbour) didn’t have a lot of sympathy for their departing boss yesterday.

The board will need to hustle to appoint a new person for the $900,000 position. Milne said the search process has already begun. Meanwhile, Guthrie said she’s considering her legal options and that the board didn’t raise any problems with her. But for now, she says she’s “devastated”.


PM Scott Morrison has told the Daily Telegraph (paywall) that he believes Australia Day has to remain on 26 January because it remembers a day the nation “changed forever”. But he’d like to see another national day added to the calendar to remember the First Australians’ “deep scars”. His comments follow Byron Bay Council’s decision to move its Oz Day events to 25 January. Talkback radio has its script sorted for the day…

TOMY RESCUED - Injured Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy was rescued by a French vessel after he was left stranded on his damaged yacht between Western Australia and Africa on the weekend. He had been taking part in a round-the-world race when bad weather left him in trouble. Reports say he was conscious and stable.

DRIFTING AWAY – An Indonesian teen was rescued after 49 days adrift on a wooden fishing trap. He’d floated 1,900km before he was picked up off Guam.

SAD LAST TRIP - Terry Annesley died after his yacht capsized in rough conditions south of Sydney yesterday. He was an experienced sailor who’d worked as a ‘delivery skipper’ sailing people’s boats to them. This time he was sailing his own new boat home to Bundaberg.

An investigation into last year’s deadly crash at Melbourne’s Essendon Airport found the pilot made a number of errors before the plane plummeted into a nearby shopping centre. Five people died in the crash including pilot Max Quartermain and four American men who’d chartered the plane for a golfing trip to King Island. Investigators said Quartermain skipped the pre-flight safety checklist and didn’t see the plane was set to veer left once in the air. Reports say the widows of the golfers plan to sue Quartermain’s estate.

Deborah Ramirez has come forward to claim misconduct against her former university acquaintance/Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh in a Ronan Farrow piece (think #metoo investigative journalist of the moment) in the New Yorker yesterday. Ramirez says the incident occurred at a boozy dormitory party in the early 80s and she wants the FBI to investigate. Kavanaugh and the White House said the accusations were part of a smear campaign designed to kill his court appointment.

Forget your fancy deli/market-bought bespoke conserves - nothing is more Aussie than IXL jam. Yesterday owner SPC (the fruit canning people owned by Coca-Cola Amatil) announced it had sold IXL to Kyabram Conserves – a newly formed Aussie jam company. IXL and SPC have been under pressure from changing consumer preferences away from canned fruit and mass-made condiments. IXL has a great backstory. It was founded by Henry Jones (think the Hobart hotel) who had the personal motto; “I excel in everything I do”. Humble bloke…

After overcoming injury - and personal challenges aplenty - Tiger Woods has won his first PGA golf event in more than five years. That takes his PGA tally to 80 wins – just two tournaments behind all-time great Sam Snead (who looks a bit like Thurston Howell III from Gilligan’s Island…).

And speaking of winners, it wouldn’t be the morning after the fake tan festival that is the Brownlow Medal if there wasn’t a red carpet gallery… Oh, and the winner of the medal was Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell.


ABS Data Release - Gender Indicators, September

Start of the annual General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly (where world leaders gather in New York to discuss global issues) - on until 1 October

Bill Cosby's sentencing hearing commences

Catherine Zeta-Jones (1969) and husband Michael Douglas (1944) share a birthday

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