Squiz Today / 23 January 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 23 January
"I don’t want them on a social network.”
That’s Apple CEO Tim Cook’s view about kids’ use of social media. Cynics say he thinks that way because Apple doesn’t have a social media platform to plug. But supporters say he remains committed to the Steve Jobs’ ideal to “serve humanity”. Meanwhile, parents everywhere wondered how they’d get the kids off their Apple devices.
IT’S RAINING PROPERTY RESIGNATIONS
It was Super Monday for the resignations of some of the who’s who of real estate. Antony Catalano, the CEO of Domain (the Fairfax aligned real estate media company), shocked the market yesterday with his resignation from the recently floated business. And the CEO, chairman and board of real estate agents McGrath all walked yesterday leaving founder John McGrath to pick up the pieces.
WHY IS CATALANO NO LONGER MASTER OF HIS DOMAIN?
I see what you’ve done there. Here’s a potted history:
• Catalano was an employee of Fairfax before launching a magazine in 2010 for the express purpose of distributing real estate ads. He went on to develop what we now know as Domain.
• He sold it to Fairfax in 2015 and stayed on as CEO.
• As leader of the most commercially successful part of the Fairfax business, Catalano’s future was the subject of speculation as the media company’s sale to private equity was being discussed last year. There were even whispers he might become Fairfax's CEO.
• When that all fell over, Domain was separated from Fairfax and floated on the Australian Stock Exchange just two months ago. Fairfax retains 60% ownership.
In a statement yesterday, Catalano, the father of eight children, said he needs more time for home life. But others say he could be cooking up something with one of the private equity groups who were previously interested in buying Fairfax. Either way, it wasn’t good news for shareholders. Domain’s share price was down 17% yesterday, and Fairfax took a 9.7% hit.
AND WHAT HAPPENED AT MCGRATH?
McGrath has lost 75% of is share value since floating in December 2015. And yesterday it said it would make a loss for the first half of this financial year but should earn between $5.8 million to $6.8 million in the second half – a lot less than they had projected. Reports say John McGrath, the reality TV judge who stepped down as CEO almost 18 months ago but remained on the board, had been unhappy with the team’s performance. “I have a clear plan to rebuild momentum but I will let our results speak for themselves from here," he said yesterday. The ball’s now in his court. McGrath’s share price was down more than 12% yesterday.
SQUIZ THE REST
16 HOSPITALISED IN SYDNEY TRAIN CRASH
Authorities aren’t sure if it was driver error or a braking failure that caused a train to hit a concrete barrier at north-west Sydney's Richmond station yesterday morning. The train was slowing as it approached the last station on its journey but hit the barrier hard causing injuries to passengers in all carriages. A broken leg was said to be the worst injury incurred along with spinal and neck injuries, broken ribs and collar bones. Transport Minister Andrew Constance said three independent inquiries are underway. It’s just another problem for the city’s train network, which is in the middle of a pay dispute with the union.
TURKEY SENDS TROOPS INTO SYRIA
Turkey has launched airstrikes and has sent ground forces over the Syrian border into the Afrin area in an attempt to drive out US-supported Kurdish troops. Around 10 were killed and 45 people injured in the actions. Turkey really doesn’t like having the Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia on its doorstep and considers it a terrorist organisation. The US and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad found themselves on a rare joint ticket with both condemning the Turks’ actions. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said discussions with Turkey were underway.
WORLD LEADERS GATHER IN THE ALPS
The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland starts today. It’s where government and business leaders, academics, philanthropists, rock stars and royalty gather to shoot the breeze on all things economic and geopolitical. Seriously. This year’s theme is “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”. Reports say the attendance of the world’s current disrupter-in-chief, US President Donald Trump, is looking likely with the government shutdown almost over. UK PM Theresa May, Elton John, Cate Blanchett and Indian PM Narendra Modi will also add to the star power. Australia will be represented by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Trade Minister Steve Ciobo. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she would also attend on her own coin.
SAGS – NOT A DAG IN SIGHT
Yesterday’s Screen Actor’s Guild award-winners pretty well aligned with the Golden Globes. Gary Oldman won best actor for The Darkest Hour and Frances McDormand won best actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Our Nicole (Kidman) won her category for Big Little Lies. Nominee Aziz Ansari was a notable non-attendee. And you know it’s not a Hollywood awards night without a red carpet. Susan Sarandon = va va voom!
IT’S RAINING ROYAL CELEBRATIONS
Princess Eugenie will marry her long-term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank. She’s the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, the Duke and Duchess of York. In accordance with modern royalty, she’s an art gallery director and he’s a nightclub manager and reports say the young couple have been dating for seven years. They will marry later this year in St Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle, the same venue as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May.
PITA POCKETS WINTER OLYMPICS START
This is a hot contender for sporting story of the year. Tongan athlete Pita Taufatofua was a stand out from the Rio Olympics with his stunning performance in… the opening ceremony. Yesterday he doubled down and qualified in cross-country skiing for next month’s Winter Olympics. Taufatofua only saw snow for the first time a couple of years ago and cross-country is a gruelling sport making his achievement, as Bruce McAvaney would say, special. Purely for sporting reasons, we too could develop a late-in-life interest (but from the sofa) in the sport.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.00pm (AEDT) - Memorial for the victims of the Bourke Street Mall Attack a year ago - Melbourne
World Economic Forum Meeting (on until 26 January) - Davos, Switzerland
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