In media circles, there is an often-used, somewhat entertaining expression, “taking out the trash”.
It’s a phrase that refers to a practice often employed by government spokespeople and PR Jedi’s when they conveniently drop bad news at a time when the nation is distracted, and newsrooms are short-staffed in the hope of escaping public scrutiny.
The latest stunning example of “taking out the trash” came at 10:48pm on Christmas evening when News Corp publications around the country issued a public apology to rival Nine CEO, Hugh Marks and his partner Alexi Baker.
News Corp Apology
The Saturday Telegraph published an article on November 21, 2020 titled “A matter of timing” concerning Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine Entertainment Co, and Alexi Baker, a former executive at Nine Entertainment Co.
The article suggested Mr Marks authorised a significant pay rise for Ms Baker in 2020 prior to her departure from Nine. This was incorrect.
Further, the article may have conveyed the false imputation that Ms Baker took advantage of a personal relationship with her boss.
The Saturday Telegraph apologises to Mr Marks and Ms Baker for any hurt and embarrassment caused by the article.
The apology was in response to an article written by journalist Annette Sharp on the 21st of November; Marks was quick to dispute the article’s claims an employed lawyer Mark O’Brien to demand its removal and commence defamation proceedings.
News Corp has been keen to publish negative stories regarding Nine after it took control of Fairfax Media, which controls publications including SMH and The Age. It’s a strategy that has seen Sharp publish several articles focused on the personal life of Marks.