Fairfax/News feud not huge concern for media buyers

Fairfax/News feud not huge concern for media buyers
SHARE
THIS



The ongoing spat between publishing giants Fairfax and News Limited doesn’t seem to be causing too much concern for media buyers.

The feud escalated this morning when Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood slammed a report in The Australian stating it had put a plan in place to bring forward the closure of its weekday print editions of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Hywood denied speculation the company will stop printing Monday to Friday editions of its major newspapers before 2015.

The Australian reported this morning that weak advertising revenues and a digital first strategy are impacting decisions about when to close weekday editions of the SMH and The Age, however Hywood told the publication that “there has "been no change to the timetable”.

Sebastian Rennie, chief Investment officer at MEC, told B&T that the feud has not really had much impact on the buying market.

“It’s not causing too many headaches,” said Rennie. “There’s a general acceptance where print is headed and that at some point some print mastheads will cease. Everyone in the industry is aware of the structural changes going on in rrelation to print. For us, we ‘d just be looking for plenty of notice."

Meanwhile, The SMH has again today published Hywood’s defence of the media company. It also ran in Saturday’s edition.

In case you missed it, here it is …  

Dear Readers,

There has been much reported recently about Fairfax Media's past with varying levels of accuracy and insight. This editorial published in The Sydney Morning Herald on July 27, 2013 puts things into perspective.

The greatest compliment a fiercely independent media organisation can receive is condemnation from those who fear free speech and unfailing scrutiny of the rich and powerful.

So the Herald humbly welcomes the hubris and triumphalism of James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch this week at the launch of the book Killing Fairfax: Packer, Murdoch and the Ultimate Revenge.

Advertisement

In doing so we do not accept their false premises that the company which has funded the Herald's quality journalism for so long is dying, nor that this pair of moguls' sons can claim credit for any problems Fairfax has faced.

Rather, we see the premature exaltation of Packer and Murdoch as proof certain that the Herald and its stablemates are doing just as they always have. And that is fulfilling a crucial democratic duty, without fear or favour, without regard to commercial self-interest. With respect, what an affront it surely is to all Australians for Packer and Murdoch to rejoice over threats to quality journalism.

For 182 years the Herald has exposed corruption, protected the vulnerable, pursued growth for all and embraced an optimistic vision for the nation based on a contest of ideas. That Packer and Murdoch can gloat over any potential reduction in media diversity reflects poorly on them, thereby highlighting the importance of ensuring Fairfax's journalism survives.

And it will survive, funded by a new, sustainable business model to replace what were once, indeed, rivers of gold. Technological advances in the past two decades have forced Fairfax and other newspaper companies to change as those lucrative classified advertising revenues slowed sharply and shifted to online outfits.

Packer and Murdoch rode by chance with some of them, gambling that they could cash in and wreak delicious revenge against Fairfax for daring to expose their families' power and behaviour to unwanted scrutiny. ''You'd have to say they've got thin skins,'' was the conclusion of Killing Fairfax author Pam Williams – tellingly, a Fairfax employee.

With glasses raised in toast this week, Packer said: "Fairfax didn't see any of this coming. They thought it was all beneath them. They thought we were idiots. You know, I think we killed Fairfax.'' Murdoch responded: "I think so".

For the sake of those who value democracy and a proudly Australian voice, let's hope not. Fairfax made mistakes along the way. No one in the myriad media organisations that have vanished or struggled can deny that. But Fairfax survives.

With respect, Packer left the media because the power his family sought through it was evaporating and money mattered too much. With respect, the Murdoch empire has relied on global film revenue to fund its news media, will rely on TV revenue in future and has used phone-hacking to seek a commercial advantage.

By contrast Fairfax is developing a business model that can ensure the Herald serves the Australian public with independent journalism for another 182 years. That Williams can write a book which exposes her employer to cheap shots from rivals says a lot about editorial independence.

Contrast this to the Murdoch empire's rejection of internal dissent and insistence on groupthink; to Kerry Packer's intolerance of criticism and his son's ''hatred, hatred, hatred, hatred'' outburst in describing his motivations against Fairfax. Contrast it to the Herald's ability to give credit where it is due and play every issue on its merits.

To the chagrin of Packer and Murdoch, the Herald's team of fearless journalists remains a thorn in the side; a check and balance on the extremes of power; a challenge to the cosy status quo; a rival that cannot be paid off; in essence that most dangerous of ideas, free speech in pursuit of the public interest.

Kate McClymont, Adele Ferguson, Linton Besser, Peter Hartcher and so many more – let no businessman or politician say their work and that of countless other Fairfax journalists has not made this country a better and more civilised place.

The Herald believes Australians will always value quality journalism and keep supporting a business that has a long record of delivering it. While you can now access the Herald's journalism in many ways, the core promise has not changed.

And you still have a choice about what sort of country Australia should be. It can be one where the commercial interests of Packer and Murdoch prevail, self-satisfied and free of scrutiny. The other is one where, as the first Herald editorial said in 1831, editorial management of newspapers is conducted upon principles of candour, honesty and honour. Where respect and deference are paid to all classes. Freedom of thinking. No wish to mislead. No interests to gratify. Dissent with respect, to establish a principle.

By these sentiments we shall be guided, and, whether friends or foes, by these we shall judge others; we have a right, therefore, to expect that by these we shall be judged.

We will not let negative judgements of the past distort our view of a future which, with the collective efforts of everyone at Fairfax on behalf of our loyal readers and shareholders, is destined to be a bright one.

Greg Hywood
CEO & Managing Director Fairfax Media

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Social Soup Launches Social Media Management Offering
  • Marketing
  • Media

Social Soup Launches Social Media Management Offering

Influencer marketing agency Social Soup has extended its service offering to integrate social media management into its tiered influencer programs, following a raft of new business wins. Social Soup’s recent client wins in social management include Church & Dwight across its brand portfolio, in addition to beverage brands Stolichnaya Premium Vodka, Angostura Aromatic Bitters, San […]

Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve
  • Advertising
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve

Unlike B&T's mystery office farter, this columnist argues ad fraud is a problem that can actually be solved.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years

In this opinion piece, Gavin McDonough (pictured above, left), co-founder and managing partner of Urban, shares through his own experience some valuable advice for independent specialist agencies. In November 2017, my brother Ryan and I celebrated 15 years in business. We started business out of my front room in Melbourne in 2002 – not with any […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Orange Line Bolsters Team With Two Senior Hires
  • Marketing

Orange Line Bolsters Team With Two Senior Hires

Digital marketing agency Orange Line has made two senior appointments following a series of new business wins and existing client growth. The independent Sydney agency has hired former Essence planning lead, Aishling Farrell (right in photo), as general manager of client service and strategy along with former senior ReachLocal executive, Stephanie Ford (left) as operations […]

W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges
  • Advertising

W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges

Susan Hoffman, co-chief creative officer at Wieden+Kennedy (W+K), has been appointed chair of judges for the 39th AWARD Awards. Known to challenge the status quo, Hoffman is behind some of W+K’s most memorable and game-changing ads, including Nike’s ‘Revolution’, Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ and Chrysler’s Super Bowl spots starring Eminem and Clint […]

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers
  • Marketing

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers

Leading experiential marketing agency, Kreate Australia is embarking on an exciting growth strategy following its purchase by three of the agency’s existing management team from its UK founder, Steve Evans.

Carat Snares Media For Event Hospitality And Entertainment
  • Media

Carat Snares Media For Event Hospitality And Entertainment

Carat has won the media strategy, planning and buying responsibilities for Event Hospitality and Entertainment, the group behind popular hotel, entertainment and leisure experiences including QT Hotels, Rydges Hotels & Resorts, Event Cinemas, Moonlight Cinemas and Thredbo.

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!

This is a clarion call for B&T 30 Under 30 entries, although it's probably more mariachi band than angelic harbinger.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast
  • Media

The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast

Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit Network has announced that rising radio star and comedian Tanya Hennessy will take over hosting duties for its weekend breakfast slot in 2018. Hennessy will bring content to the airwaves each Saturday and Sunday morning from 7am to 9am with a regular rotation of guest co-hosts. The self-described talker, not walker […]

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients
  • Marketing

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients

Health, wellbeing and lifestyle PR agency Straight Up PR has welcomed Changing Habits, Unichi Wellness, enerGi, SleepX, and Healthie Hampers to its client portfolio. Straight Up PR’s projects will include bespoke PR services and influencer marketing packages specifically focusing on communications strategy and execution, media and influencer relations, PR launch events, product seeding and gifting, […]

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia

Independent creative agency March One has developed a new fundraising event for White Ribbon Australia that turns a social moment into a social movement. Starting on Thursday 22 March and going until Sunday 25 March, Cheese for Change will ask Aussies to create a cheese platter that matters by gathering friends, family or co-workers together […]

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced
  • Marketing

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced

The winners of IGN Australia’s sixth annual Select Awards were revealed during a huge special event at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney on Friday, February 16. Some 225 Media & Game Publishers alongside 320 IGN Community Gamers attended the annual event. 2017 was absolutely crammed with terrific games and several categories were extremely tightly-contested. The top […]

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!

When it comes to an industry "who's who", you'll find there won't be too much who-ing with this impressionable lot.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs
  • Marketing

ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs

Mardi Gras is only weeks away and B&T has already hoisted the mirror ball and donned the hotpants to bring you this.

International Creative Services Redesigns Business Model To Broaden Talent Offering
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

International Creative Services Redesigns Business Model To Broaden Talent Offering

Marketing consultancy International Creative Services has announced a new roster of diverse creative and production talent to provide a fully integrated solution for advertising and branded content. The roster includes a broad range of global and local directors, animators, illustrators, motion designers, visual artists, light projectionists, photographers and cinematographers – many of whom Australia will […]

Dirty Data Done Dirt Cheap
  • Opinion

Dirty Data Done Dirt Cheap

Does the mere thought of data fog the brain and stuff the sinuses? Decongest immediately with this lozenge-like read.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Johnny Ruffo & Lynne McGranger Host Emotive’s New Video Series For HelloFresh
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Johnny Ruffo & Lynne McGranger Host Emotive’s New Video Series For HelloFresh

HelloFresh Australia, together with content agency Emotive, have launched a new video content series hosted by Home & Away actress Lynne McGranger and entertainer Johnny Ruffo. Dinner Diaries showcases the talent eating their way across the country as they drop into HelloFresh customers’ homes to see what the nation are cooking at dinnertime. The campaign […]

AppNexus Appoints VP Of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Experience
  • Advertising
  • Technology

AppNexus Appoints VP Of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Experience

Independent advertising technology company AppNexus has announced the appointment of Antoinette Hamilton as its vice president of diversity, inclusion and community experience. Filling a new position at the company, Hamilton (pictured above) will spearhead initiatives to promote a diverse and inclusive global community within AppNexus, broaden the range of the company’s talent pipeline, and drive […]

Mango Melbourne Appoints New Head Of Comms
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Mango Melbourne Appoints New Head Of Comms

If you were to lick your computer monitor while reading this Mango story, it may actually taste like a computer monitor.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine