Did she jump or was she pushed? It’s the big question being asked of Helen McCabe’s shock announcement to quit as editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly yesterday.
McCabe is reportedly quitting the role she’s had for nearly eight years to go out on her own – reportedly a new online editorial venture. However, with a $400,000 a year salary and one of the most prestigious media roles in the country there’s plenty of speculation that McCabe was shown the door by publisher Bauer. After all, Bauer is doing practically everything – closing underperforming titles and capping staff salaries – to keep its costs down as circulations falter and ad dollars go elsewhere.
B&T contacted McCabe for this article but as yet have not received a reply.
And allegedly McCabe’s departure has been a long time in the planning. A Bauer employee who spoke to B&T with the guarantee of anonymity has revealed that Bauer plans to consolidate both its Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day editorial teams. Apparently this has been common knowledge in the Bauer corridors since late last year.
Any consolidation would mean one of the editors of the two titles would get the chop and that turns out to be the highly paid McCabe.
According to B&T’s source the consolidation of the the two titles – one weekly and one monthly – will be led by Woman’s Day editor Fiona Connolly
Connolly is highly thought of at Bauer and has been instrumental in Woman’s Day consistently winning the women’s weekly fight against arch rivals New Idea and WHO and Bauer’s own weekly titles NW, OK and Take 5. This, presumably, would also make Connolly the frontrunner to take McCabe’s old job.
And consolidation is nothing new. Bauer did it successfully when it merged the struggling Dolly with Cleo sacking a number of editorial staff and an editor in the process. Bauer has worked hard in recent times to consolidate a number of its properties – that had had a history of acrimony – into a more workable team, combining its magazine, digital and food arms.
However, Connolly’s no shoe-in to walk into the prestigious role and, arguably, the successful candidate would now have to edit not one but two titles.
The Sydney Morning Herald, in an article by its celebrity columnist Andrew Hornery, reported this morning that Bauer has a “long list of contenders” for the coveted (and presumably very well paid) editor’s role.
Hornery also quotes an anonymous Bauer employee as saying: “It will most likely be a woman; she will almost certainly already be in Australia because that is key to the magazine’s success, understanding the local psyche … and I think they will be looking for someone with a family, who really understands that mindset.
“Helen had a great love of politics and, while that probably made a few headlines for her and impressed a lot of her mates in Canberra, it didn’t necessarily resonate with the traditional Weekly readers who still want their fix of royal stories and celebrity profiles.”
According to Hornery a number of other editor names are in the mix including New Idea’s Louisa Hatfield, Cosmopolitan’s Bronwyn McCahon and even Mamamia’s Mia Freedman.
The SMH article also surmises that a man could be a contender, however it was highly unlikely. The Weekly’s executive editor Bryce Corbett could put his hand up but “would be a gamble though. They need someone the female readers can identify with and, while he may understand them very well, I doubt he would translate as being the figurehead of the Weekly in a television commercial,” the insider told Fairfax.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has responded to Meta’s decision to stop paying for Australian news, saying it is “not the Australian way” and that he is “very concerned” about the announcement. Meta has today confirmed it will walk away from funding Aussie journalism once the current content deals expire in what is a significant […]
The Australian media industry has responded to Meta’s decision to walk away from funding Aussie journalism once the current content deals expire. In a blow to local media outlets Meta said it will not enter negotiations to extend a deal to pay with Australian media companies for the news that appears on its platform. Michael […]
Google’s position on funding Aussie journalism hasn’t changed as Meta reveals it plans to walk from future news content deals. Google has confirmed that it will not abandon news content deals with publishers, and has even been renegotiating ones that have nearly expired. Today, Meta said it will not enter negotiations to extend content deals […]
Free TV has said that today’s announcement by Meta that it will not be renewing any of the deals struck with Australian media companies for use of news content on its platforms should be met with swift action by the government. Meta today revealed it will walk away from funding Aussie journalism once the current content […]
NOVA Entertainment has today announced the launch of a refreshed brand identity for FIVEAA, Adelaide’s premier commercial talkback station. The forward-looking brand refresh reflects FIVEAA’s new lineup and vision while paying homage to the station’s previous logo and rich heritage. Built upon the new tagline of Always Adelaide, the new direction celebrates the ‘AA’ branding […]
Australian social and content marketing workflow platform Fabulate has won big at the industry’s annual AiMCO Awards, taking out the highly competitive Best Influencer Marketing Technology Service category. Lead image: Fabulate team at Aimco Awards The win saw the start up platform, which has a team of around 50, receive the industry recognition against competitor […]
Australia’s newest transformative TV technology, Hubbl, will be on sale from March 10 in Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi retail stores nationally and via Hubbl.com.au. Lead Image: Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany at Hubbl Launch. Also from March 10, Hubbl will unveil a national advertising campaign starring brand ambassadors Hamish Blake and Andy Lee. The multi-channel […]
Marking a historic moment, THE LUME Melbourne will welcome original pages from Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus to Australian shores for the first time, as they touch down on March 9, before going on display to the public from March 16, when Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius presented by Webuild opens to […]