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June 2019

Sunday Telegraph - Hadley's $24M contract after plot to punt Alan Jones


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Exclusive: Ray Hadley will keep a $1.7 million “breakfast bonus” negotiated last year in the network’s failed plans to supplant Alan Jones in the prime 2GB breakfast radio slot.

Radio sources yesterday revealed Hadley’s new contract — which takes effect from tomorrow, July 1 — soared from $2.3 million a year to $4 million a year during secret negations with Macquarie Media bosses last year as they manoeuvred to axe incumbent breakfast star Jones and promote Hadley to his coveted spot.

Neither Hadley nor Macquarie CEO Adam Lang responded to calls to confirm the pay rise that puts Hadley on equal money to Jones though on a longer and ultimately more lucrative contract.

$4 million a year for Jones …
… And $4 million a year for Hadley.

Jones’s contract expires in 2021 while Hadley’s new contract runs until 2025 — putting Hadley on $24 million over six years.

From tomorrow, 2GB’s incoming new afternoon host Steve Price, currently host of the night shift, will also receive a salary bump negotiated last year as part of 2GB’s now abandoned plan to replace Jones at breakfast with Hadley and Hadley at mornings with Price.

That plan fell apart following Nine’s acquisition of a majority stake in Macquarie Media, 2GB’s parent company, in December and Nine’s insistence Jones be retained at breakfast.

The men behind the decisions, National Executive Producer Michael Thompson …
… And CEO Adam Lang.

The financial sweeteners should offset any embarrassment or inconvenience Hadley and Price may be feeling after being informed they’d have to wait at least two more years — the term of Jones’s newly signed $8 million contract — for their promised slot promotions.

The news comes as 2GB’s new majority shareholder Nine urges financial restraint across the radio network — including cancelling an existing contract with news provider AAP.

The vision for the new 2GB under Nine also has bosses looking for an opportunity to draft one of its established female presenters into a slot on the radio station.

… While Chris Smith will feel the fallout from the arrangement and moves to nights.

There's much more in the Sunday Telegraph

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Marcia Langton owes a young man a very big apology

I don't know the young man behind the Twitter handle Tyson James - you can find him here -

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A short while ago Tyson published this comment about Magda Szubanski AO's activism regarding Israel Folau.

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And that comment led to this disgraceful, incredible public comment from Marcia Langton.

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Marcia Lynne Langton AM (born 31 October 1951, Brisbane, Australia) holds the Foundation Chair in Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne in the Faculty of Medicine. In 2016 she became Distinguished Professor and in 2017, Associate Provost.

I don't understand the internal nastiness that could ever create those sorts of thoughts, let alone move her to commit them to writing, then to decide to publicly make that statement against a young man?

I'd say a prayer for her if I thought it would do any good.  I think it'd be a much better move for her employer to have a quiet chat about the standards of behaviour that befit a professor with the once great University of Melbourne.

Scott Morrison and Donald Trump forming an important relationship for Australia

A considered and important account of a lengthy dinner meeting between Prime Minister Morrison, President Trump and some of their most senior people.

Great insight and writing from Simon Benson.

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One of Donald Trump’s first comments to Scott Morrison at dinner in Osaka on Thursday night was: “What a great win.”

The US President was intrigued by the Prime Minister’s surprise election victory. According to an insider, Trump quizzed Morrison about the campaign and what the issues were that got him over the line.

Morrison told him it was about the “quiet Australians”, a group of people, he told Trump, that wanted to get on with their lives and not be lectured to.

A kinship was forming.

As one insider remarked: “Trump likes winners.”

Sitting opposite each other at a long white-clothed table, both leaders were flanked by their most senior people. It was as high-powered a meeting as you get.

Despite landing with only 20 minutes to spare, Trump’s team arrived on time at the Imperial Hotel at 8pm.

Jetting in on a commercial flight from Washington DC through San Francisco to Tokyo — followed by a fast train to Osaka — was Joe Hockey. Australia’s ambassador to the US miraculously managed to get there on time as well. Hockey had been packing his bags to travel to Miami for a Democrat convention when he got the call to reschedule and fly to Osaka.

It was a long way to go for a meal, but Morrison wanted him there.

Hockey has been instrumental in forging the relationship between Australia and Trump.

And a good relationship with Trump can be worth several hundred million dollars in avoided trade tariffs, as Australia has demonstrated.

Trump isn’t interested in nostalgic partnerships. He prefers transactional relationships.

In Australia’s case he has made an exception and has embraced both.

Trump had pulled out the big guns. It was an impressive line-up: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and national security ­adviser John Bolton.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner were also at the table with Dan Scavino, Trump’s social media director.

The director of his budget ­office, Mick Mulvaney, who Vanity Fair says Trump has “fallen out of love with”, was further down the table with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, his trade representative Robert Lighthizer and trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Travelling with Morrison were Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Martin Parkinson, G20 sherpa David Gruen, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade deputy secretary Richard Maude, Morrison’s media director Andrew Carswell, national security and internat­ional adviser Michelle Chan, trade adviser Brendan Pearson and economic adviser Craig Evans.

An insider said Trump barely touched his meal: prawns for ­entree, meat for mains. There was a selection of red and white wines.

But Trump was there to talk. Contrary to what critics say about him, he is deeply inquisitive.

Drinking only Diet Coke, he spent much of the 75-minute meeting asking questions of Morrison. He wanted to know his thoughts on China. He continued his obsession with Australia’s ­border protection policies. They even spoke of aviation and what’s happening at Boeing.

Another observer remarked that at a time when every other country is in Trump’s firing line, in one way or another, this was an ­extraordinary meeting.

Of the 19 other world leaders Trump could have had dinner with on the eve of the G20 summit, the US President had chosen to have it with Morrison. Why?

Eight months ago in Buenos Aires, at their first brief encounter, Trump joked with Morrison by asking him where Malcolm was.

As a senior government source pointed out, even in the US, they hadn’t expected Morrison to be around very long. The fact he won the election meant he had to be taken seriously. Morrison will be a dominant political fixture in the Indo-Pacific region for the next three years and possibly more, during which time a number of other leaders will be replaced.

Morrison was said to be relaxed and confident and to have spoken with authority. The discussion was broad, according to US sources. And the message out of the White House was that the meeting went extremely well.

Word is that the two have struck up a genuine rapport.

Morrison’s stewardship of ­Operation Sovereign Borders was a source of fascination for Trump at the dinner.

When it came to the US-China trade deadlock Trump had a ­sympathetic ear but made it clear that the US was not for turning.

Morrison was forceful in his ­appraisal of the trade dispute and its impact on other economies, such as Australia’s. But for Trump it is about the simple mathematics. The trade imbalance simply doesn’t add up for America’s ­interests.

The dinner went 15 minutes over time. At one level it demonstrated how highly Trump values personal relationships. The value of “face time” can’t be underestimated.

The broader optics presented a powerful image. In geopolitical language it said quite bluntly that the US-Australia alliance remains one of the world’s enduring strategic partnerships and was becoming ever more critical in a region that shares half the world’s population and where the potential for conflict is palpable.

A pilot's take on what once was the grandeur of travelling in aeroplanes

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My mate Pete Talalla flew 747s.

He was and is a master.

On his last flight out of Sydney (before retirement) in a plain-white-painted 747 transport (bound for the Middle East in support of..enough said!) Pete's co-pilot asked Sydney ATC for a special clearance to recognise this master pilot's time in the front left seat.

"XXX you are cleared for take-off, maintain height not below 500 feet......"

If you ever saw a plain white-painted 747 run up the Sydney coast from Malabar to Bondi, past The Heads, past Manly and all at "never below 500 feet (ahem!)" and then make a sharp left towards Mecca while screaming up to the sky - well that was Pete!

Thanks for your service brother!

Pete's just posted this - it comes from a time when Real Men ran airlines!

C747 Classic Safari. The reunion.


There once was a time when the men flew the aeroplanes, and not the other way around where the airplane now flies the man.

The 747 Classic is the icon of the former age. Stuff of legend, where layovers were counted in days and sometimes even weeks.

Pilots got enough sleep, enough fuel, enough pay and enough time at home.

The skies clear, the passengers classy, the seats bigger, meals were served with warmth, and the spirit of aviation was fueled by excitement and adventure for passengers and crew alike.

The 747 Classic was royalty.

The Queen of the Skies.

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