Squiz Today / 19 September 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 19 September
“I used to get called monobrow at school that BROW IS ON COVER OF VOGUE."
Tweeted Kiwi singer Lorde. She's such a talent it’s hard to imagine she was made fun of by anyone. And it’s hard to believe she hasn’t graced the cover of Vogue before. Aussie Vogue is her first, and it’s out next week.
MEDIA MOGULS FOILED IN BID FOR NETWORK TEN
Bruce Gordon, owner of the WIN regional television network, lost his legal fight yesterday to prevent administrators from holding a meeting today with the creditors of the Ten Network. It’s a big meeting because there could be a vote on the proposal from American broadcaster CBS to buy the troubled TV station. Gordon argued that creditors didn’t have enough information to make an informed decision. He also said CBS shouldn’t be allowed to vote on the proposal – something they can do because they are owed money by Ten. But the judge disagreed and said the meeting could go ahead.
WHAT THAT ALL ABOUT?
You might remember that Gordon and News Corp’s Lachlan Murdoch put together a deal to buy Ten, but were gazumped in a surprise move by America’s largest TV network, CBS. Since then, Gordon and Murdoch have been looking at how they can get back in the game, and on Friday they launched a new bid. Yesterday the judge said their bid could be discussed at today's meeting, and the administrators KordaMentha said that creditors could adjourn the meeting if they want more information. As for the numbers: CBS is the largest creditor with Ten owing it $175 million. The new Gordon/Murdoch bid is $55 million (after initially offering $35 million). In contrast, CBS has offered $32 million but would forgive the money it is owed.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Observers reckon the creditors will vote to accept the CBS deal today. But that won’t stop Gordon from appealing yesterday’s decision, and there are plenty of other legal manoeuvres that can be deployed to keep the Gordon/Murdoch dream of owning Ten alive. That means this could drag on for a while because a court will ultimately have to approve any deal down the track. So stay tuned for another exciting episode of big media making big legal moves. We bet Ten’s 750 staff wish it could be sorted out today.
SQUIZ THE REST
LUXURY CAR SALES DROP: A WINDOW ON THE ECONOMY
Stockbrokers Commsec say their latest luxury car sales index shows the biggest drop in five years while numbers released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed annual sales of new cars hit a record high. The ABS data highlights growth in sales of ‘industry’ vehicles (think utes and vans used for work). That means business is investing and moving. But Commsec reckons the fall at the luxury end of the car market is a good indicator for other assets, like house prices. The theory is a drop in the sales of luxury cars = the richy rich are being more cautious with their cash = could be an indicator of tighter times to come. It’s like reading the economic tea leaves, but instead of a hot brew, they're using unleaded.
AUCKLAND FLIGHTS SHORT ON FUEL
Hopefully you don’t need to get through Auckland Airport this week: it’s cancelling flights left, right and centre to deal with a broken fuel pipeline from the nearby refinery. Reports say there is jet fuel available, but it's at about 30% of normal usage. And there's the possibility that the leak will impact car users in coming days, but so far so good. Air New Zealand said late yesterday it will need to cancel further flights because it's still using too much fuel, and it might reschedule flights if it can factor in a refuelling stop at another airport. What a great way for the government to head into the election at the weekend…
US CUBAN EMBASSY COULD CLOSE FOLLOWING 'ACOUSTIC ATTACKS'
The US is considering the closure of its embassy in Havana, Cuba after 21 employees were targeted by ‘acoustic attacks' that have led to serious health problems. The symptoms are said to include mild traumatic brain injury, permanent hearing loss, loss of balance, severe headaches and brain swelling. The US has not blamed the Cuba government and is instead looking at other countries, like Russia. US President Donald Trump has previously said America is walking away from aspects of the Obama deal to open up relations with Cuba, but the closure of the embassy would be significant.
LADY FAIRFAX DIES AT 95YO
Born Marie Wein in Poland, Lady Fairfax escaped with her Jewish parents to Australia in the 1920s. Renaming herself Mary in the 1950s, she became the third wife of Sir Warwick Oswald Fairfax, who was a towering figure in Australian media back in the day. They had a child (Warwick Jr) and adopted a boy and girl from the UK. She also had a child from a previous marriage to Cedric Symonds, a Sydney businessman and lawyer. A renowned philanthropist and supporter of the arts, Lady Fairfax received many gongs for her generosity. And she was right in the middle of the fight over the Fairfax family’s media and other business holdings - a story from another era. Her family said her health had deteriorated rapidly in recent time adding they were distressed by her passing. Her funeral is on Friday.
WOMEN’S STORIES DOMINATE EMMYS
For those not able to get out of work yesterday, the Emmys belonged to Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale (taking out five Emmys each). Nicole Kidman (in what was thought to be mismatched shoes) won Outstanding Lead Actress for her turn as a former-lawyer-turned-wife-and-mother who is subjected to domestic violence. Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her sixth Emmy for the same role as President Selina Meyer in Veep. And Saturday Night Live won nine Emmys for their most-watched season since the early 90s, including Alec Baldwin for this brilliant Trump impersonation. Everyone was there – even former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer took to the stage with a mobile lectern to give his assessment of the audience size al la Trump’s inauguration. The full list of winners is here. And for the best of the frock action, go no further than here.
THE WORLD IS ENDING ON SATURDAY… OR NOT
Because The Squiz tries to make your life a bit easier, we thought you might appreciate some notice that the world will end this coming Saturday. According to Christian numerologist David Meade, it is down to the number 33. “It’s a very biblically significant, numerologically significant number. I’m talking astronomy. I’m talking the Bible… and merging the two.” And given Saturday is 33 days since the total solar eclipse in the US, he says it’s game on. Thankfully, Meade says the world isn’t blowing up or anything like that. Just that “the world as we know it is ending. A major part of the world will not be the same the beginning of October.” For us, that probably means putting our ugg boots away for summer. Politeness prevents the outlining what critics said about Meade’s thesis.
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.30pm (AEST) - Women's Soccer - Matildas v Brazil - Newcastle
US President Donald Trump to address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday morning local time
ABS Data Release - Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, June
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