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Paul Lobb sacked from reading Newcastle news on NBN just before Christmas

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Outraged television viewers have launched a social media campaign for the reinstatement of a beloved newsreader who was sacked just days before Christmas

Popular Newcastle personality Paul ‘Lobby’ Lobb had read NBN’s 6pm news bulletin for more than a decade alongside fellow presenter Natasha Beyersdorf before his sudden removal.

Nine Entertainment, which owns NBN, sacked Lobb without warning two and a half  weeks ago, announcing he would be replaced by weatherman Gavin Morris. 

Morris, who has a larger-than-life action-man image and is seen as a long-term asset by Nine, will continue to present the weather as well as reading the news with Beyersdorf. 

The move stunned Lobb’s loyal audience in northern New South Wales who launched a change.org petition demanding his return three days after his sacking. 

Outraged television viewers have launched a social media campaign for the reinstatement of  beloved Newcastle newsreader Paul ‘Lobby’ Lobb who was sacked shortly before Christmas.  Lobb’s loyal audience launched a  change.org petition demanding his reinstatement

Nine Entertainment, which owns NBN, sacked Lobb without warning almost three weeks ago and announced he would be replaced by weatherman Gavin Morris, who will now read the news with Natasha Beyersdorf. Morris and Beyersdorf are pictured

Nine Entertainment, which owns NBN, sacked Lobb without warning almost three weeks ago and announced he would be replaced by weatherman Gavin Morris, who will now read the news with Natasha Beyersdorf. Morris and Beyersdorf are pictured 

Outraged viewers have demanded Paul Lobb return to their screens to deliver the news. 'Paul is the face our news in Newcastle,' one wrote on social media. 'We want him back'

Outraged viewers have demanded Paul Lobb return to their screens to deliver the news. ‘Paul is the face our news in Newcastle,’ one wrote on social media. ‘We want him back’

Some of those to sign the petition have taken to unfairly attacking Lobb’s replacement Morris, with one complaining about the way he pronounces ‘satellite’. 

Angry viewers have threatened to boycott the station as they mourn the loss of ‘a true gentleman’, ‘highly respected newsreader’, ‘born and bred Novocastrian’ and ‘good bloke’. 

‘I just want to say NBN have lost the plot,’ one social media commenter wrote.

‘I’m unsure which direction you’re hoping to take the news, but Paul is our familiar hometown news reader, who was a wonderful, articulate, beautiful natured person.

‘We might as well just watch the Sydney news with people we have no connection with. So upset by this news.’

Lobb, who had worked as a journalist for NBN for 23 years, responded to his sacking in a video statement released by local marketing company Out of the Square Media on Wednesday.  

In his message Lobb thanked viewers for their loyalty and confirmed his sacking had left him blindsided.

‘After many happy years of bringing you the news I was just as surprised as you were recently to find out that my time on the desk was over,’ Lobb said.

Angry viewers have threatened to boycott the station as they mourn the loss of 'a true gentleman', 'highly respected newsreader', 'born and bred Novocastrian' and 'good bloke'. Lobb is pictured left with weatherman Gavin Morris and fellow anchor Natasha Beyersdorf

Angry viewers have threatened to boycott the station as they mourn the loss of ‘a true gentleman’, ‘highly respected newsreader’, ‘born and bred Novocastrian’ and ‘good bloke’. Lobb is pictured left with weatherman Gavin Morris and fellow anchor Natasha Beyersdorf

‘I just wanted to let you know that from my days on the road reporting and bringing you the stories of the region through to presenting the news, I have loved every minute.

‘And in recent weeks your messages of support and love have been truly incredible.

Paul Lobb’s heartfelt statement to viewers 

‘Hello, it’s Lobby here.

After many happy years of bringing you the news I was just as surprised as you were recently to find out that my time on the desk was over.

I just wanted to let you know that from my days on the road reporting and bringing you the stories of the region through to presenting the news, I have loved every minute.

And in recent weeks your messages of support and love have been truly incredible.

From reaching out to me personally on social media. Wow, there was even a petition that thousands off you signed so thank you, I feel so grateful.

So what’s next? Well, I am going to take a bit of a break but hopefully I will be seeing you somewhere soon.

Thank you again for your love and support and bye for now.’

Source: Out of the Square Media 

‘From reaching out to me personally on social media. Wow, there was even a petition that thousands off you signed so thank you, I feel so grateful.

‘So what’s next? Well, I am going to take a bit of a break but hopefully I will be seeing you somewhere soon.’

Lobb’s sacking is seen as part of a cost-cutting exercise being foisted on the regional station by its capital city masters. 

Nine management has continued to downsize NBN’s operations in Newcastle and let go more than 20 station employees in the past 12 months. 

The Newcastle news is now controlled out of Brisbane. 

Lobb’s brother Andy Lobb was removed on July 12 as the NBN newsroom’s long-serving chief-of-staff, along with head of news Blake Doyle.

Reporter Olivia Grace Curran was brought in from Adelaide to replace Andy Lobb and Perth’s Darius Winterfield was promoted to director of regional news.

The station moved from its home of almost 60 years in Mosbri Crescent to new studios at the harbourside Honeysuckle precinct in early November. 

Viewers have complained of technical difficulties plaguing the bulletin ever since, noting audio problems and awkward pauses between the increased number of live crosses.   

The NBN bulletin now also opens with the Nine news theme music, an edited version of a piece known as Tar Sequence from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke. 

The high-rating NBN bulletin is broadcast through the Hunter and covers northern NSW, inland across the New England region and into parts of the state’s north-west. 

Kylie Blucher, Nine’s managing director in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, described Lobb’s sacking as a consolidation of NBN’s news presenting line-up.

In an email to NBN staff on December 13 Ms Blucher said the decision did not reflect on Lobb’s significant contribution to the station and had been ‘a tough one to announce’.

Weatherman Gavin Morris, who has a larger-than-life action-man image and is seen as an asset by Nine, will continue to present the weather as well as reading the news with Natahsa Beyersdorf (pictured). Beyersdorf has co-anchored the NBN news since mid 2006

Weatherman Gavin Morris, who has a larger-than-life action-man image and is seen as an asset by Nine, will continue to present the weather as well as reading the news with Natahsa Beyersdorf (pictured). Beyersdorf has co-anchored the NBN news since mid 2006

Lobb was named journalist of the year in 2008 at the Northern NSW Journalism Awards for his reports on the grounding of the Pasha Bulker cargo ship on Nobbys Beach the previous year. He is pictured right with veteran Nine journalist Ray Martin

Lobb was named journalist of the year in 2008 at the Northern NSW Journalism Awards for his reports on the grounding of the Pasha Bulker cargo ship on Nobbys Beach the previous year. He is pictured right with veteran Nine journalist Ray Martin

‘Paul has been front and centre in loungerooms across Northern New South Wales delivering the local, national, and international stories our audience depends on,’ she wrote.

‘Over the past decade Lobby had built an enviable relationship with our viewers based on trust and his recognised commitment to the news.

‘It’s not only the audience who have come to love and trust Lobby, for nearly 24 years he has always been the first one to put his hand up to lend-a-hand, support his mates, and always does it with a smile on his face.’

Blucher said she expected Morris, a keen surfer and paraglider who has been NBN’s weatherman for 13 years, to be a success as Lobb’s replacement.

‘I have every confidence that Gavin will be embraced by the audience in this new role and alongside Natasha deliver continued success for NBN News,’ she wrote.

How viewers reacted to Paul ‘Lobby’ Lobb’s brutal sacking

Lobb began his career at NBN in 1993 as a trainee librarian and chyron operator - responsible for the text that runs at the bottom of the screen during news broadcasts

Lobb began his career at NBN in 1993 as a trainee librarian and chyron operator – responsible for the text that runs at the bottom of the screen during news broadcasts

‘Paul is such a gentleman and a born and bred Novocastrian. This is poor form NBN.’

‘Paul is a much loved and professional part of the Newcastle family.’

‘We love Lobby.’

‘We need relatable humans on our television. Lobby is one of them.’

‘I love him.’

‘A really poor choice from new management. Paul Lobb is a highly respected newsreader, such a silly decision.’

‘What has he done to deserve that?’

‘Lobby is a good bloke who has been part of the Newcastle landscape for over 2 decades.’

‘This man is Newcastle, our news presenter, our family every night. He cannot be dropped, he cannot be replaced.’

‘Let’s hurt them with the ratings. Don’t watch the nine news.’

‘That’s another reason not to watch the NBN News.’

‘This is such a waste of such a talented caring person – although if a company treats staff so poorly with such disrespect would you really want to return to work under that type of management.’

‘Paul is not only a newsreader but an ambassador for your company.’

‘Paul Lobb is a top bloke and an awesome news reader. He deserves to be back on NBN. The news is not the same without him.’

‘We need relatable humans on our television. Lobby is one of them.’

Lobb began his career at NBN in 1993 as a trainee librarian and chyron operator – responsible for the text that runs at the bottom of the screen during news broadcasts.

He became a reporter in 1998 working out of the station’s Port Macquarie office.

In 2008 he was named journalist of the year at the Northern NSW Journalism Awards for his reports on the grounding of the Pasha Bulker cargo ship on Nobbys Beach the previous year.

Lobb was a back-up newsreader for several years before joining Beyersdorf on the desk permanently in December 2010 when local broadcasting legend Ray Dinneen retired.

Dinneen had been at the news desk since joining Murray Finlay in 1975 and over the decades was paired with Anna Manzoney, Tracey Reid, Chris Bath, Melinda Smith and then from mid 2006 Beyersdorf. 

Lobb was a back-up newsreader for several years before joining Beyersdorf on the desk permanently in December 2010 when local broadcasting legend Ray Dinneen retired. Dinneen (pictured) had been reading the news on NBN since 1975

Lobb was a back-up newsreader for several years before joining Beyersdorf on the desk permanently in December 2010 when local broadcasting legend Ray Dinneen retired. Dinneen (pictured) had been reading the news on NBN since 1975

One Newcastle media personality with several decades’ experience in the industry said Lobb was an outstanding newsreader who was unfortunate to lose his job. 

‘Newsreading in subjective in some ways in that you like people or you don’t,’ he said. 

‘But technically, he was flawless. Clear and clean. He was not sacked because he couldn’t do the job.’

The insider said Lobb’s sacking came down to money, but it was likely the outgoing newsreader had not received a pay rise for years.

‘They wanted to cut someone,’ he said. 

‘Why him? Dunno. But I have two theories. 

‘They either focus-grouped and his replacement polled better. More likely, his replacement has been doing tons of crosses for Today and other Nine product.’

Another Newcastle media veteran said Lobb and Morris were both ‘top blokes’ but Morris might have been seen as providing better long-term value by Nine.

‘Seems they didn’t want to keep on spending money on two readers,’ he said. 

‘Gav does weather as well as read news.

‘Lobby wasn’t a blonde female and is a bloke.’

The high-rating NBN bulletin is broadcast throughout the Hunter and covers northern NSW, inland across the New England region and into parts of the state's north-west. Newcastle is pictured

The high-rating NBN bulletin is broadcast throughout the Hunter and covers northern NSW, inland across the New England region and into parts of the state’s north-west. Newcastle is pictured

The television and radio veteran said most of NBN’s production problems were coming out of Brisbane. ‘

Sad days for the region, he said. 

‘Accountants run the show.’

Former NBN cameraman David Threlfo signed the petition calling for Lobb’s reinstatement and fired off a broadside at the Nine network. 

‘Paul is one of the finest, most loyal, ethical and professional colleagues I’ve ever worked with,’ he wrote. 

‘This makes no sense. 

‘NBN News is only a brand name now as Nine Newcastle continues what appears to attack on our local news service. 

‘Many would have seen the “new direction” of NBN News since July. Amplifying the negatives, finding drama where there is none, chasing coffins. 

‘This is why I resigned from NBN News recently…  Nine misread their amazing local viewers at their peril.’ 

Nine has been contacted for comment.

Beyersdorf will be joined at the news desk by Morris on January 31. 

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Hailey Bieber Details Terrifying ‘Life-Altering’ Mini-Stroke She Suffered And Procedure To Close Hole In Her Heart

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Hailey Bieber has spoken out in her “own words” about the “life-altering,” “scariest moment” of her life she had after suffering what she called a mini-stroke, and later underwent a procedure to close a hole in her heart.

The 25-year-old supermodel and wife of superstar singer Justin Bieber took to her YouTube channel Wednesday and opened up about the terrifying experience of being hospitalized last month after she suffered a blood clot to her brain that traveled through a hole in her heart between 12 and 13 millimeters, reported People magazine.

“I had, like, a very scary incident on March 10, basically,” Bieber shared. “I was sitting at breakfast with my husband, having a normal day … and all of the sudden, I felt this really weird sensation that kind of like traveled down my arm from my shoulder all the way down to my fingertips. And it made my fingertips feel really numb and weird.”

“Justin [her husband] was like, ‘Are you okay?’” she added, as she explained that she tried to respond to him, but she “couldn’t speak.” “The right side of my face started drooping; I couldn’t get a sentence out.”

“Obviously, immediately, I thought I was having a stroke,” the supermodel continued. “He thought I was having a stroke. Right away, he asked for somebody to please call 911 and get a doctor.”

Hailey said that where they were, there happened to be a medic who started asking her lots of questions and testing her arms, calling it definitely the “scariest moment” of her life. The model talked about how the “facial drooping lasted for probably like thirty seconds.” Her speech did came back, but her “anxiety” about what was happening just made “everything worse.”

“By the time I got to the emergency room, I was pretty much back to normal – [I] could talk, [I] wasn’t having any issues with my face or my arm,” Bieber explained.

She said scans revealed she had, in fact, suffered a “small blood clot” to her brain which was labeled a “TIA” [Transient Ischemic Attack]. Hailey told her followers it was basically like having a “mini-stroke.”

Doctors still weren’t sure what caused it, but she said it was widely believed it was a combination of birth-control issues, recently having COVID-19, and having just traveled “to Paris and back in a very short amount of time,” calling it a “perfect storm.”

Further testing at the University of California, Los Angeles, revealed Bieber had a Grade 5 PFO [a small opening in the heart that usually closes after birth]. The outlet said the hold measured between 12 and 13 millimeters. She later underwent a procedure to close the hole, and said it went “very smoothly” and she’s recovering.

“The biggest thing I feel is I just feel really relieved that we were able to figure everything out, that we were able to get it closed, that I will be able to just move on from this really scary situation and just live my life,” Hailey shared.

“If there’s anybody that watches this that has gone through the same thing or something similar, I definitely really empathize with you,” she concluded. “And I understand how life-altering and scary it is.”

Bieber, who’s the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin and Kennya Baldwin, married her husband Justin in 2018.

Related: Hailey Baldwin Credits Christian Faith For Marriage To Justin Bieber

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Wikipedia’s Left-Wing Bias

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I love Wikipedia. I donated thousands of dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Before Wikipedia, all we had were printed encyclopedias—out of date by the time we bought them.

Then libertarian Jimmy Wales came up with a web-based, crowd-sourced encyclopedia.

Crowd-sourced? A Britannica editor called Wikipedia “a public restroom.” But Wales won the battle. Britannica’s encyclopedias are no longer printed.

Congratulations to Wales.

But recently, I learned that Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger now says Wikipedia’s political pages have turned into leftist “propaganda.”

That’s upsetting. Leftists took over the editing?

Sadly, yes. I checked it out.

All editing is done by volunteers. Wales hoped there would be enough diverse political persuasions that biases would be countered by others.

But that’s not what’s happening.

Leftists just like to write. Conservatives build things: companies, homes, farms.

You see the pattern comparing political donations from different professions: Surgeons, oil workers, truck drivers, loggers, and pilots lean right; artists, bartenders, librarians, reporters, and teachers lean left.

Conservatives don’t have as much time to tweet or argue on the web. Leftists do. And they love doing it. This helps them take over the media, universities, and now, Wikipedia.

Jonathan Weiss is what Wikipedia calls a “Top 100” Wikipedian because he’s made almost half a million edits. He says he’s noticed new bias: “Wikipedia does a great job on things like science and sports, but you see a lot of political bias come into play when you’re talking current events.”

Weiss is no conservative. In presidential races, he voted for Al Gore, Ralph Nader, and Barack Obama. Never for a Republican. “I’ve really never identified strongly with either political party,” he says.

Maybe that’s why he notices the new Wikipedia bias.

“People on the left far outweigh people on the center and the right … a lot [are] openly socialist and Marxist.” Some even post pictures of Che Guevara and Lenin on their own profiles.

These are the people who decide which news sources Wikipedia writers may cite. Wikipedia’s approved “Reliable sources” page rejects political reporting from Fox but calls CNN and MSNBC “reliable.”

Good conservative outlets like The Federalist, the Daily Caller, and The Daily Wire are all deemed “unreliable.” Same with the New York Post (That’s probably why Wikipedia called Hunter Biden’s emails a conspiracy theory even after other liberal media finally acknowledged that they were real).

While it excludes Fox, Wikipedia approves even hard left media like Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, and Jacobin, a socialist publication.

Until recently, Wikipedia’s “socialism” and “communism” pages made no mention of the millions of people killed by socialism and communism. Even now, deaths are “deep in the article,” says Weiss, “treated as an arcane academic debate. But we’re talking about mass murder!”

The communism page even adds that we cannot ignore the “lives saved by communist modernization”! This is nuts.

Look up “concentration and internment camps” and you’ll find, along with the Holocaust, “Mexico-United States border,” and under that, “Trump administration family separation policy.”

What? Former President Donald Trump’s border controls, no matter how harsh, are very different from the Nazi’s mass murder.

Wikipedia does say “anyone can edit.” So, I made a small addition for political balance, mentioning that President Barack Obama built those cages.

My edit was taken down.

I wrote Wikipedia founder Wales to say that if his creation now uses only progressive sources, I would no longer donate.

He replied, “I totally respect the decision not to give us more money. I’m such a fan and have great respect for you and your work.” But then he said it is “just 100% false … that ‘only globalist, progressive mainstream sources’ are permitted.”

He gave examples of left-wing media that Wikipedia rejects, like Raw Story and Occupy Democrats.

I’m glad he rejects them. Those sites are childishly far left.

I then wrote again to ask why “there’s not a single right-leaning media outlet Wiki labels ‘reliable’ about politics, [but] Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, CNN, MSNBC” get approval.

Wales then stopped responding to my emails.

Unless Wikipedia’s bias is fixed, I’ll be skeptical reading anything on the site.

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Public Health England to blame for sending patients to care homes without Covid tests

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, Whitehall officials alleged that Prof Duncan Selbie, the former PHE chief executive, was ultimately responsible for informing Mr Hancock of the risks.

Prof Selbie is working as a senior adviser to the DHSC. Neither he nor the department responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Mr Hancock, who was replaced by Sajid Javid last year, claimed the High Court ruling had exonerated him and the had been cleared “of any wrongdoing” because PHE “failed to tell ministers what they knew about asymptomatic transmission”.

The High Court judges concluded that care home policies in March and April 2020 were “irrational” because they failed to advise that those discharged from hospitals “should, so far as practicable, be kept apart from other residents for up to 14 days”.

“Since there is no evidence that this question was considered by the secretary of state, or that he was asked to consider it, it is not an example of a political judgment on a finely balanced issue,” they said. “Nor is it a point on which any of the expert committees had advised that no guidance was required.”

After the ruling, Boris Johnson said he wanted to “renew my apologies and sympathies” to relatives who lost loved ones, adding: “The thing we didn’t know in particular was that Covid could be transmitted asymptomatically in the way that it was.”

However, the risks of asymptomatic transmission had been highlighted by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser for England, who said it was “quite likely” as early as March 13 2020. Varying levels of risk had been outlined in papers from late January, the ruling said.

The judicial review was brought by Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris, whose fathers, Michael Gibson and Donald Harris, died after testing positive for Covid.

‘Opens the floodgates for potential claims’

Paul Conrathe, a solicitor at Sinclairslaw who was instructed by both women, said: “It’s possible that care home providers and relatives who lost loved ones in the first wave could bring compensation claims. The Government was found to have acted ‘irrationally’ – that’s a very high legal hurdle.”

Nadra Ahmed, who chairs the National Care Association, said the ruling “opens the floodgates for potential claims to be brought against government policy”.

“This will be especially pertinent where the individual was not given a choice,” she said. “There will be a lot of people assimilating to the information as they consider if the loss of their loved one was premature, and holding the Government to account is the only way forward for them.”

Helen Wildbore, the director of the Relatives and Residents Association, said that the ruling proved “the protective ring around care homes was non-existent” and that older people were “abandoned at the outset of the pandemic”.

A government spokesman said it had been a “very difficult decision” to discharge hospital patients into care homes, taken when evidence on asymptomatic transmission was “extremely uncertain”.

The spokesman added: “We acknowledge the judge’s comments on assessing the risks of asymptomatic transmission and our guidance on isolation, and will respond in more detail in due course.”


‘He was in a home and should have been safe’

They stood outside the Royal Courts of Justice, two women unknown to each other before the Covid pandemic but brought together by tragedy, writes Tom Ough.

Cathy Gardner spoke first, delivering a steely reading of a statement. Matt Hancock’s boast of a “protective ring” encircling care homes, Dr Gardner said, was “a despicable lie of which he ought to be ashamed and for which he ought to apologise”.

Fay Harris, more downcast in demeanour but no less forthright, told journalists: “I have lost precious years with my wonderful Dad.”

Both women lost their fathers in early 2020, arguing that they might still be alive were it not for hospital patients having been discharged into care homes without having been tested for Covid.

Michael Gibson, born in 1931, had been a superintendent registrar of births and deaths. “He was in a home and should have been safe,” Dr Gardner told The Independent after his death.

Mr Gibson, who had advanced dementia, had fallen ill a couple of weeks before the first lockdown. Staff at his care home were unable to procure tests for Covid, but the virus is believed to have struck him down.

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