Media Unmade - Chapter 23: Billionaire Elephants
In which Antony Catalano becomes a newspaper baron while Nine sells its events business, takes control of Sydney and Melbourne's top radio stations and unexpectedly says goodbye to boss Hugh Marks
Welcome to the latest Unmade podcast. Today’s edition features another extract from the audio edition of my book, Media Unmade, which is published by Hardie Grant and available online and in book stores.
In today’s chapter, I explore the aftermath of the merger between Nine and Fairfax Media.
The biggest loose end to tie up was what to to with the community newspapers division. Some of the country’s most celebrated regional newspapers - the likes of The Canberra Times, The Newcastle Herald, Illawarra Mercury and Bendigo Advertiser - were about to get a new owner. It was an opportunity for Antony Catalano and business partner Alex Waislitz to pick up a bargain.
And the duo had bigger ambitions for Australian Community Media - they wanted to be in television too. They made a move that scuppered Seven West Media’s plans to take control of Prime through a cash-free, share-based merger.
Nine had other things on its mind - taking full control of Macquarie Media, owner of Melbourne’s 3AW and Sydney’s 2GB, the home of controversial breakfast host Alan Jones. For Nine, it was also time to bring Karl Stefanovic home to Today, while CEO Hugh Marks was about to make an imperfect exit.
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Audio production on Media Unmade comes courtesy of Abe’s Audio, the people to talk to about voiceovers and sound design for corporate videos, digital content, commercials and podcasts.
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