Fairfax latest

The Australian reports

FAIRFAX Media has asked Gina Rinehart to agree not to launch legal action against any of her fellow directors if she is offered board representation at the media company.

The company’s chairman, Roger Corbett, and chief executive, Greg Hywood, told institutional investors today that the condition was one of a number they had put to her if she wanted to join the board.

Others are believed to include an understanding and respect of the Fairfax editorial independence charter, and allowing her alternate director nominees to be vetted by the board.

Reads like don’t try to manage the company and don’t sue us for failing to manage the company.

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88 Responses to Fairfax latest

  1. C.L.

    No, Andrew Bolt, he hasn’t seen the light and isn’t now willing to defend media freedom.

    He’s protecting the government (read Labor) media complex:

    But Communications Minister Stephen Conroy rejected the push to legislate editorial independence.

    He said it was an anxious time for Fairfax employees but “what we are not going to do is start legislating to interfere in any way with editorial independence”.

    “In terms of legislating an editorial position; the answer is no,” Senator Conroy told parliament.

  2. Bruce

    “FAIRFAX Media has asked Gina Rinehart to agree not to launch legal action”

    Digitus impudicus.

  3. Token

    Did Wayne Swan write that for the morons? Maybe David Marr.

    They are also wary of Mrs Rinehart’s recent history of legal battles with her children and, more recently, West Australian newspapers.

    Listen to them say, “Hey Gina, we may have driven the share price from $5 to 60c, but we won’t let you have a seat without condition as you are a bad mother and too greedy to share your money with your children.”

  4. Samuel J

    Roger Corbett should be sued for stuffing the company. As Eric Beecher http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/beecher_blasts_corbett/ states, Corbett had no understanding of the media business and has destroyed the company by not finding an alternative revenue source than classified ads. Any drunk moron would have told you five years ago that classified ads were dying. But not Corbett, he got all huffy when this was raised.

    Gina – who I think should be Prime Minister – should make no concessions, the board and chairmanship will fall to her soon enough. Unconditional surrender by the board is required.

  5. JC

    The company’s chairman, Roger Corbett, and chief executive, Greg Hywood, told institutional investors today that the condition was one of a number they had put to her if she wanted to join the board.

    ahahhahaha Corbett is a total moron. That wouldn’t stand up in court if it was considered the board or a director acted negligently etc or not in the interests of the shareholders. A judge would simply set it aside. He’s a fucking moron. He’s already showing his weakness because the obvious question is what have you to hide.

    Corbett has to get rolled.

  6. JC

    SamuelJ

    Gina should ask for his resignation effective immediately as she has no confidence in him and demand the chair. She should also ask for the resignation of any directors who are patsies to Corbett.

    She now needs to start thinking about suing Corbett.

  7. DC

    Corbett is trashing his corporate reputation post-WOW.

  8. Aqualung

    Funny that Fairfax asks for Gina to respect them after the way they have carried on and abused her.

    Like bullies who thought they were tough and, realising that they were in fact out numbered, start imploring that they meant no harm and all is just a big misunderstanding.

  9. C.L.

    This is just so epically funny.

    The luvvie newspapers of record now controlled by an evil earth-raping miner.

    It’s like The Australian being taken over by Bob Brown and his husband.

  10. Samuel J

    Walmart should kick him off the board too.

  11. C.L.

    Abbott should call for a Charter of Union Transparency to ensure Craig Thompson situations never occur again. All union leaders must sign.

  12. Token

    That announcement is so tactful, they may as well add this David Marr special to underline how much they despise her…

  13. coz

    If you did a forensic audit on how Fairfax came to be such a marxist mouthpiece, I think that the central piece is the untold story of the engineered downfall of Warwick Fairfax. Everything changed for the worse after that.

  14. Gab

    Geez, they do a lot of dancing and prancing around like a troupe of clowns that they are.

    Meanwhile, Gina just smiles calmly and says nothing.

  15. Dandy Warhol

    This is just so epically funny.

    The luvvie newspapers of record now controlled by an evil earth-raping miner.

    It’s like The Australian being taken over by Bob Brown and his husband.

    Agreed.

    This is the most delicious irony. The left is going round the bend. The people they have written off and laughed about for years – Abbott and Rinehart – have completely outflanked them, leaving them with little, soon to be nothing.

    And, as with Rudd and his short-order execution, it is entirely their own bloody fault.

  16. coz

    Meanwhile, Gina just smiles calmly and says nothing.

    It’s a great demeanour.

  17. Nic

    You watch, in lefty lore Reinhart will be directly blamed for the current downsizing. A decision made by a board she wasn’t even a member of.

  18. Dandy Warhol

    Geez, they do a lot of dancing and prancing around like a troupe of clowns that they are.

    Meanwhile, Gina just smiles calmly and says nothing.

    Yeah, I know.

    Swanny, David Marr, they can’t believe this is happening. They are in shock. You can see ‘does not compute’ written all over their faces.

    Isn’t it fantastic.

  19. candy

    Mr Abbott said “good on Gina” for taking on a difficult situation and investing “not a bad thing’ but “a good thing”.

    My take is that he’s saying she’s applauded for doing a good thing for Australian business – but it won’t work – print media is dead and online people won’t pay.

    it’s a bad deal for Ms Rinehart but good on her for trying but newspapers and paying for news is dead.

    to my mind Mr Abbott was indicating that.

  20. Mark

    Seriously?

    They sound like little kids.

    They sound weak.

    They sound desperate.

    They sound like failures.

    Matter of fact they sound a lot like Labor and are casting around for a way out of a mess of their own making.

    Ahh the left….. Other peoples money has run out and now the Paladins in the form of Marr et al are casting about rattling their broadswords while the court eunuchs are sent off to negotiate.

    I cannot believe that grown men and woman in Fairfax are acting like this.

    But is this not just another leftist failure writ large? Same sad story. All the right ideals. All the passion. All the ideology. All the use and waste of (other peoples) assets and money.

    And now the endgame where the whining and recriminations start. Gina should up the ante and demand 4 seats increasing by one a day until they get the message or just buy another 5% and see what happens. Better yet get Palmer to grab 10%. What a hoot.

    Best viewing sport in town this. I must stock the cupboard with more popcorn. There is nothing like seeing kids in adults bodies flail around as they blame everything except their own incompetence for the reality they created.

    I laughingly joked Gina should make BoltA the boss as a spot of fun. Now I think she should demand it just to spite these weak pathetic corporate failures.

  21. Nic

    I’g really love to see Mar given something to truly cry about. Sink the boot in, he’ll whinge and moan anyway. Make it a good un.

  22. Nic

    I laughingly joked Gina should make BoltA the boss as a spot of fun. Now I think she should demand it just to spite these weak pathetic corporate failures.

    Bolta would have a lot of tongue in cheek fun

  23. JC

    Walmart should kick him off the board too.

    It’s freaking amazing. He’s on the walmart board :

    In 2011, Corbett was compensated $288,251 for serving on the Walmart Board of Directors in 2011. He also owns about $700,000 of Walmart stock.

    Fairfax: comp $412,629 No. of shares. 99,000 which are worth around 60K. Some expression of confidence here.

  24. Goodness me, Gab. Everyone finds that story by Beecher at Crikey interesting.

  25. Gab

    It’s always about you, innit SFB?

  26. Viva

    I daresay David Marr could be regretting some of the unkind remarks about his new boss that he made on TV recently.

  27. Anon

    Where will David Marr go, what will he do?

    Frankly my dear……

  28. Infidel Tiger

    Did anyone hear that loon Jaspan say on the 7:30 Report that if Rinehart took control, Fairfax would be at the mercy of free marketeers who believe business should be able to carry out business unhindered by government?

    I think he meant it at as criticism.

  29. Pickles

    Manne on Lateline terrified that Gina will turn Fairfax into a denialist rag and only the ABC will remain fighting the fight.

  30. JC

    Did anyone hear that loon Jaspan say on the 7:30 Report that if Rinehart took control, Fairfax would be at the mercy of free marketeers who believe business should be able to carry out business unhindered by government?

    I think he meant it at as criticism.

    Did that repulsive little Scot take any responsibility for sending the age on its way to the abattoir?

  31. Infidel Tiger

    Did that repulsive little Scot take any responsibility for sending the age on its way to the abattoir?

    Not sure. Half way through the interview he had to rush off to audition for a munchkin.

  32. Viva

    Emma Alberici didn’t know that News Ltd papers, unlike Fairfax, are reasonably profitable in comparison. The guy from Crikey she was interviewing had to let her in on the secret.

  33. JC

    Emma Alberici didn’t know that News Ltd papers, unlike Fairfax, are reasonably profitable in comparison.

    She’s another useless leftwing moron. She couldn’t interview her mother without fucking it up and missing good bits. And boy is she a partisan rat.

  34. Gab

    Wayne Swan

    another fucking useless moron and an actual real-life threat to democracy.

  35. m0nty

    Gina – who I think should be Prime Minister

    Why stop there? Worship her as your new God. You know you want to, Samuel. The Church of the Iron Rhino.

  36. Gab

    Well, at least Gina actually creates jobs.

  37. C.L.

    Prime Minister

    No.

    Didn’t she come out in favour of plain packaging (or was it increased tax on alcohol)?

    It was raised here a few months ago by somebody warning not to get too carried away with her.

  38. C.L.

    Paul Kelly weighs in on Gina/Fairfax. Truly, one of the most bizarre and clueless essays on modernity I’ve read for a long time. He calls the digital age – along with citizen journalism – a “tyranny.”

    We are living through a demise of the means by which politics has been practised and community support mobilised to advance social and economic progress.

    Exactly, block head.

    He goes on to say this is a great opportunity for the ABC to step into the centre to promote good public policy. LOL.

  39. Gab

    How to fix Fairfax Media in five easy steps

    WHAT to do about Fairfax? Step one, criticise investors. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday:

    (GINA Rinehart is) entitled to representation, but what she’s not entitled to do is trash the brand for all the other shareholders.

    Step two, legislate. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam yesterday:

    IF Ms Rinehart does not want to sign on to the (Fairfax) charter of independence . . . then we should look at ways of making that mandatory . . . We don’t want to see Fairfax reduced to a mining industry newsletter.

    Step three, leave it to the ABC. Finkelstein media inquiry:

    IT has a long and successful history in investigative and public service journalism. Should a gap emerge from reduced efforts of newspapers and other media, the ABC, with additional government funding, would be well-placed to fill it. The additional funding could be tied to specifically designated functions and conditional upon specific undertakings on its use.

    Step four, let academics decide what’s the news. Finkelstein again:

    UNIVERSITIES could be funded to be sources of local and accountability journalism. They could be funded to provide faculty positions for individual journalists and so could become laboratories for experiments in innovative ways of gathering and sharing news.

    Step five, wake up Crikey’s Andrew Crook (there hasn’t been a Sunday Fairfax broadsheet in Sydney for more than 20 years):

    SUNDAY, March 3, 2013, will mark the last day the company will publish its traditional 55 x 11 (centimetres by columns) broadsheets in Sydney and Melbourne.

  40. C.L.

    And here come the fascists:

    Gina Rinehart row reignites calls for media control.

    LABOR caucus members are renewing their push for radical intervention in media standards as Gina Rinehart’s newspaper ambitions spark a widening political storm over regulating the press.

    A move is under way to punish media owners who breach editorial standards, despite cabinet ministers claiming yesterday there was little they could do to stop Australia’s richest person taking over Fairfax Media.

    By “editorial standards” is meant ‘support for the ALP.’ I have never lived through a more frighteningly extreme and sickening Federal government.

  41. JC

    It’s going to end pretty ugly i think. Chavezism is coming here spoken in English.

  42. twostix

    It’s going to end pretty ugly i think. Chavezism is coming here spoken in English.

    History has shown the uglier the ending the better:

    Brumby smooth ending: crap LNP government.
    Keneally bumpy ending: mediocre LNP Government
    Bligh ugly ending: magnificent LNP government.

  43. entropy

    twostix: Not that I want to derail the thread, but I suspect Newman is more than capable of overreach. And I am most certainly not defending red ted.

  44. dan

    CONROY; “She’s entitled to representation, but what she’s not entitled to do is trash the brand for all the other shareholders”

    Aren’t these guys wankers. It is already rooted, and anyway, if some latte leftie commie bastid wants to sell out, then I’m sure others will come in and buy the shares if they see a good strategy and future.

    They only strategy at the moment is; Ahhh shit, run for it!!! Its the evil rich woman Ginazilla

  45. Blogstrop

    Editorial independence is a fine sounding phrase, but in reality you get the correct balance by appointing a good editor and then a mix of capable journalists, taking care not to overbalance towards the extremes of the political spectrum. Fairfax failed because of their deployment of the wrong editorial and journalistic assets, and their charter is powerless to save them from that mismanagement.
    Attempting to tie new owners down to the same mix is delusional. How high up the management chain did the decision to support Earth Hour emanate from? Nothing so neatly encapsulates their partisanship as that.

  46. Meanwhile, News Ltd is apparently about to purchase Business Spectator (Alan Kohler’s online business publication) and ConsMedia, which owns 25% of Foxtel. News will end up with half of Foxtel, with Telstra owning the other half.

    The luvvies will be having conniptions.

  47. helen

    she needs all the love she can get poor darling Gina

    her kids can’t stand her…

    leave her alone peeps….

  48. daddy dave

    Can’t help yourself, can you helen? Bitterness comes naturally to some, I guess.

  49. JC

    Is it the money that gets to you “Hels”?

  50. She’s probably just amused, as I am, how the fact of mega-richness (even of the kind that is off the back of a rich inheritance) has given Gina an aura of protection from criticism at this blog.

  51. Infidel Tiger

    (even of the kind that is off the back of a rich inheritance)

    She turned $75 mill into $30 bill. Thatd be like you turning the weekly housekeeping of $200 into $80000.

  52. JC

    Stepford:

    She’s made a compound return of 42% per year since she got the loot. That’s fucking astonishing, you moron and even more astonishing because it’s a woman. Compare like for like and the growth of BHP stock for the same period of time. Their stock has spewed out 14% return compounded.

    Do you understand that you’re really talking about an extraordinary person, you fucking idiot?

  53. Watching Andrew Bolt, JC and IT talking about their special Gina is like watching Dr Kelso at 1:20 to 1:35

  54. daddy dave

    Do you understand that you’re really talking about an extraordinary person

    They don’t get it.
    Maybe she can do great things with Fairfax, just as she has done in mining.

  55. badm0f0

    Meanwhile, News Ltd is apparently about to purchase Business Spectator

    Signed & sealed this morning for $22 million or so. Kohler et al signed on with 4 year contracts.

  56. Gab

    You know, Gina just goes about her business, rarely giving any public comment and yet the vitriol heaped upon this private citizen is just amazing. The jealousy and spite shown by small-minded people such as SFB and Swan and Turnbull and those vacuous buffoons on Q&A is disgusting, hypocritical and immature. What these blackguards vomit forth says a great deal more about their lack of character than it does about Gina.

  57. JC

    Meanwhile, News Ltd is apparently about to purchase Business Spectator

    It’s a shit investment. My own advice and day to day understanding of what’s going on in markets is multiples ahead of those morons. They should never have paid that sorta money for it. It’s a crap service and Kohler is a dick.

    None of those idiots have ever traded, or taken risk as investment advisers. So anything they write is essentially worthless.

  58. JC

    Out of that lot Steve Bartholomeuz is a good guy worth reading.. as long as it’s free. The rest are about as useful as a spare dick at a wedding.

    NewsLtd.

    If the ink isn’t dry, just walk away.

  59. hzhousewife

    I’ve decided to have a wee bet on Black Caviar at Ascot.
    I’m also going to buy ten Fairfax shares.

    I don’t actually care monetarily about the outcomes of
    either if these moves, but both are a bit of fun, they affirm my
    engagement in life and give me a stake in the outcomes !

  60. JC

    Just look at how much of dick Kohler is. He’s in the process of selling his firm to the high bidder or a price he finds agreeable but doesn’t think that ought to apply to the sellers in Fuckedfax nor Gina. What a hypocritical douchebag. I can’t believe anyone could ever take rotund seriously.

  61. badm0f0

    He’s in the process of selling his firm to the high bidder or a price he finds agreeable but doesn’t think that ought to apply to the sellers in Fuckedfax nor Gina.

    Why do you think it was simply the highest bid? All the stories in the lead up indicated that Fairfax was offering a similar price. The main distinction between News & a potentially Gina controlled Fairfax is that one is run by people with experience & nous in running media companies. This and his assertion that Rinehart has “nothing to contribute” to Fairfax’s transformation is consistent with his views on the failings of leadership at Fairfax over a long period; that they’ve been dominated by people with no experience in media & distracted by tussles for control of the company. It may be that his view of what Rinehart would bring to Fairfax is jaded by his experience with them but that’s far from being hypocrisy. Of course there’s also the fact that discussions with Fairfax had been dragging on for a long time & he & his co-investors were sick of waiting for them to get their shit together.

  62. daddy dave

    The main distinction between News & a potentially Gina controlled Fairfax is that one is run by people with experience & nous in running media companies.

    Warren Buffet buys companies that have products he’s not an expert in, and he does fine with them. This idea that a media proprieter must have media experience is brand new. It’s hot off the presses, you might say. Just as Gina Rinehart is making a play for Fairfax.

    Nobody gave a damn about that when Roger Corbett was put in charge. Suddenly it’s all “oh, you must have industry experience to run Fairfax.”

  63. Rabz

    DICK HEAD conroy: “She’s entitled to representation, but what she’s not entitled to do is trash the brand for all the other shareholders”

    Helloooooo, you f*cking moron

  64. JC

    Bado

    Wht Dad said. Also I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with you.

    Why do you think it was simply the highest bid?

    Are you living in some other part of the universe where shit is the opposite? So you’re suggesting they went for the lower less superior bid.

    That’s some stupid there and you were really trying too.

  65. badm0f0

    Warren Buffet buys companies that have products he’s not an expert in, and he does fine with them. This idea that a media proprieter must have media experience is brand new. It’s hot off the presses, you might say. Just as Gina Rinehart is making a play for Fairfax.

    No it isn’t new, the criticism of Fairfax’s leadership lacking any clue in running a media organisation has been longstanding & oft stated. Buffett doesn’t appoint himself de facto CEO of every company he buys into nor will you find him demanding editorial input at any of the 60 odd newspapers he bought earlier this year. As I said, Kohler’s expectations of what a Rinehart acquisition means for Fairfax may be coloured by his experience with them but it is understandable that he would view the current turmoil as just another chapter in a long, sorry, saga.

  66. Gab

    nor will you find him demanding editorial input

    Has Rinehart actually demanded this or is this just lefties getting ahead of themselves and making baseless claims again?

  67. badm0f0

    Are you living in some other part of the universe where shit is the opposite? So you’re suggesting they went for the lower less superior bid.

    No read what I actually said you idiot.

  68. badm0f0

    Has Rinehart actually demanded this …

    Has she come out with a formal statement? No but the discussions regarding her demands haven’t exactly been kept in-house. All of which may be supposition but my point was limited to why people with Fairfax experience aren’t really jumping for joy a new struggle for control when they’ve finally got a CEO in place who has a basic understanding of the extent of the malaise & has taken steps to at least address some of them, not least of which is putting in a management & editorial team at the AFR who have a clue about the news business & don’t think preserving the value of the masthead means locking it in a fucking vault.

  69. Gab

    It is supposition until the facts are presented. Basically, it’s all fear talk.

  70. JC

    No read what I actually said you idiot.

    I did. I even posted it.

    Here:

    Why do you think it was simply the highest bid?

    Of course it was the highest/superior bid? Stop annoying people with the stupids. You’re better then this.

  71. badm0f0

    JC, the numbers being bandied about for the respective bids were basically in the same ballpark. The two distinguishing points were those I mentioned – the people who are likely to be running the show & the time it was taking Fairfax to make up their mind. Given Kohler & co intend to keep running the editorial side of the business I think both of these would have bearing on the decision to accept. If you can’t understand this then maybe you can get someone to read it out very slowly for you.

  72. badm0f0

    Yes I agree it is supposition, I don’t know and largely couldn’t give a shit what Rinehart or anyone else plans for Fairfax. They haven’t been getting my dollars for a number of years – the only one I occasionally pay for is the Fin. The others are mostly infotainment & lifestyle features.

  73. JC

    Bado

    The point I’m trying to make is that despite all the bullshit Kolher was peddling about how many bids there were it appears that in the end there was on one serious bid and that’s all that counts. Fairfax never had a bid on the table that was signed and a cheque waiting.

    And to be honest he’s also blowing his own trumpet here too in that he assumes they both loved his site. Perhaps the real reason Fairfax never showed up with a signed agreement and a chaeque was because they didn’t like the deal.

    For instance I’m horrible at telling people I don’t like something and always wishy washy when it gets to that point. It’s difficult. Perhaps Fairfax were doing the same thing. Just because News bought it doesn’t mean they’re right and Fairfax is wrong to have not done so.

  74. For instance I’m horrible at telling people I don’t like something and always wishy washy when it gets to that point.

    Really?

  75. SteveC

    hahahahaha
    That was actually a joke wasn’t it? JC being shy and all?

  76. JC

    lol.. Yea. Hiring people was a good example. I’d often get a call after about a week form someone wanting to know why they hadn’t heard from me about the job after they left with optimistic impressions. I couldn’t face telling them they didn’t get it as it’s really hard to do.

    I was called in and deposed in a freaking lawsuit over something similar. I was interviewing this dude who had been fired because he got drunk and started to abuse the boss at an Xmas party. It was around bonus time, so he didn’t get the years bonus.

    Anyways, he was telling me the story and I was just being shallow and unthinkingly sympathetic to him. Anyways I get a deposition a few weeks later asking me to show up and retell what I had said in the interview and how I thought his boss was being a dick… and I was on friendly terms with his boss!

  77. JC

    That was actually a joke wasn’t it? JC being shy and all?

    No steveC. It’s basically avoiding giving the appearance of being a dick like you are.

  78. SteveC

    Not doing a good job then JC. Need a bit more practice. Or are you braver on the keyboard?

  79. badm0f0

    Just because News bought it doesn’t mean they’re right and Fairfax is wrong to have not done so.

    Fairfax probably dithered because that’s become an unfortunate institutional trait & they were worried about the image of spending money on an acquisition at the same time as they were announcing big cuts. News paid for it because it makes money, largely off the back of the Eureka Report, and because it strengthens their business stable as the Fin finally ramps up competition in that area again. Whether it’s right or wrong or they bought purely as a defensive measure against FRG, they just made the decision along with the Cons Media bid amongst the restructure announcements. No screwing around or navel gazing, just “this is our strategy”.

  80. JC

    Fairfax probably dithered because that’s become an unfortunate institutional trait & they were worried about the image of spending money on an acquisition at the same time as they were announcing big cuts.

    We don’t know. It’s very small market and they could have also avoided telling Kohler they didn’t want to buy it. But in the end there was only one bid!

    News of course is the better firm. However we don’t know if it’s going to turn out to be a good deal.

    If it’s so great why is Kohler selling out?

  81. badm0f0

    lol.. Yea. Hiring people was a good example. I’d often get a call after about a week form someone wanting to know why they hadn’t heard from me about the job after they left with optimistic impressions. I couldn’t face telling them they didn’t get it as it’s really hard to do.

    Ha, I unintentionally had the opposite problem once. I got a call from someone asking me whether we should keep someone on from an acquisition. I pretty much started laying out how this person didn’t have right skills, made a lot of errors, didn’t show any initiative, etc when he interrupted me and said “they’re on the line with us”.

  82. JC

    Oh shit. they were on the line!

  83. badm0f0

    Yeah, kind of awkward for a moment there. I guess he was expecting a rubber stamp. This person kind of went into shock I think so ended up being given another chance out of sympathy. Anytime I get asked anything sensitive on the phone now I make sure I know exactly who is on the call before I answer.

  84. Hughie

    Gina should make an unconditional offer to buy Fairfax outright – at 50c a share – then shut it down, paying all due liabilities to staff, creditors and the like. Most investors get to crystallise a loss nice and early in the new fin year, she keeps 95% of her wealth, and three of her four kids can rely on just the wire services to put to the public their arguments regarding their inheritance legal confrontation. Why, it’s like she planned it…

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