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Why Sony has dumped Australia’s most powerful man in Aussie pop music

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Sony Music USA has booted out the most powerful man in Australian pop music from the company’s Australian arm

Sony Music Australia’s CEO Denis Handlin reportedly handed in his resignation after 37 years at the helm.

Staff were alerted of Handlin’s sudden departure this morning by a company-wide email from the Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Group USA, Rob Stringer.

The news comes as the record label continues its investigations into allegations of harassment and bullying.

In the email, Stringer says “Denis Handlin will be leaving Sony Music Entertainment after more than 50 years with the Company, effective immediately”.

Stringer continues by noting “it is time for a change in leadership and I will be making further announcements in terms of the new direction of the business in Australia and New Zealand in due course.”

An Australian news outlet reportedly reached out to Sony’s head office last week with multiple complaints from former employees.

The complaints, which are aimed broadly at the workplace culture rather than specific individuals, include allegations of sexual harassment at work events, intimidating behaviour, alcohol abuse and the unfair treatment of women in the workplace.

Those complaints span more than twenty years, according to reports.

None of the former Sony employees the source spoke to made any allegations of sexual harassment against Handlin himself, however, each had been critical of the company workplace culture.

Following months of investigating claims, the media source sent a letter detailing the allegations to the head office in New York on 14 June.

On Monday a statement was issued by the chairman of Sony Music Entertainment, Rob Stringer, saying Handlin would be leaving “effective immediately”.

Handlin has been the chief executive of Australia’s most successful record label for 37 years and its chairman since 1996.

He played a central role in the careers of some of Australia’s most celebrated artists, including John Farnham, Midnight Oil, Silverchair, Men at Work and Human Nature.

He is the Australian Recording Industry Association’s longest serving board member.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Streaming service shift and the award season snubs

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Netflix Introduces Changes to Subscription Model, Academy Award Nominations Spark Cinematic Buzz, and the Doomsday Clock Continues its Ominous Ticking.

Netflix is set to discontinue its ad-free Basic subscription in select countries, commencing with Canada and the UK in Q2 2024.

This strategic shift introduces a significant price increase for the baseline entry, signalling potential adjustments to Netflix’s global pricing structure.

Simultaneously, the 96th edition of the Academy Award nominations has stirred cinematic debates, with the prevailing question being whether the upcoming season will be dominated by “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer.” These contrasting narratives set the stage for a fierce competition, highlighting the diverse and compelling offerings in this year’s film industry.

Beyond the realm of entertainment, the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic representation of the likelihood of a human-made global catastrophe, continues its ominous countdown.

Maintained since 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the clock serves as a metaphor for threats arising from unchecked scientific and technological advances. As global tensions, environmental challenges, and technological risks persist, the ticking of the Doomsday Clock serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to address multifaceted threats to humanity.

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Adidas faces potential $320M Yeezy shoe write-off post-Kanye split

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Adidas is contemplating a significant financial blow as it considers writing off $320 million worth of Yeezy shoes following its separation from music and fashion icon Kanye West.

The sportswear giant’s decision to sever ties with West’s Yeezy brand has left a mountain of unsold merchandise, threatening to dent the company’s balance sheet.

The partnership between Adidas and Kanye West, which began in 2013, had been immensely successful, with Yeezy shoes becoming a highly sought-after fashion statement.

However, recent controversies and disagreements between West and Adidas prompted the sportswear company to distance itself from the celebrity designer.

The massive inventory of Yeezy shoes now presents a dilemma for Adidas, as it grapples with finding a solution to deal with the surplus stock. A $320 million write-off could significantly impact the company’s financial performance in the short term.

Adidas is currently exploring various options, including discounting, donating, or repurposing the unsold inventory to mitigate the financial hit.

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Warner Bros discovery warns of Hollywood’s ‘real risk’ post-strikes’

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Warner Bros Discovery, has issued a stark warning regarding the ‘real risk’ that Hollywood faces in the aftermath of the recent strikes that have taken a considerable toll on the industry’s financial health.

The strikes, which disrupted film and television production for several weeks, resulted in substantial financial losses for studios, production companies, and countless industry professionals.

Warner Bros Discovery emphasised the necessity for a resilient and adaptable approach to navigate the ongoing challenges and uncertainties facing the film and television sector.

The conglomerate stressed the importance of implementing measures to mitigate such risks in the future, which include fostering better labour relations and contingency planning to safeguard against potential disruptions.

The message underlined the need for the industry to adapt to the evolving landscape of content creation and distribution, particularly in the digital era.

This warning from Warner Bros Discovery highlights the need for the entertainment industry to recognise the ever-changing dynamics and economic challenges, and the importance of preparedness to maintain its prominent position in the global market.

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