The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

AFR: The Australian is losing $20 million a year

Some interesting comments in the AFR today. Once Rupert eventually moves on, it would seem inevitable that the owners of News Corp will require The Australian newspaper to radically adjust its business model so that it is a financially viable concern. The AFR reports:

Mr Williams also said he aimed to make News’s flagship masthead The Australian  profitable. The newspaper is reputed to be losing $20 million a year. “I’m eager for The Australian  to operate on a break-even basis and eventually I’m sure that the paper can actually return to profitability,” he said.

When asked how long the newspaper could tolerate journalists’ salaries making up two-thirds of editorial costs on The Australian, Mr Williams said it was “a discussion that [editor-in-chief] Chris [Mitchell] and I will initiate”.

In relation to News’s plans to restructure its mastheads for print, digital and TV delivery platforms, and cut the number of operating divisions from 19 to five, Mr Williams said: “I don’t have a number on redundancies.”