Media Unmade - Chapter nine: World Is Fukt
In which Fairfax Media culls a generation of journos, and thrashes between business models while Gina Rinehart circles - and a shadow team makes a plan to save the newspapers
Welcome to the latest edition of the Unmade podcast. Today’s edition features another free extract from the audio edition of my book, Media Unmade, which is published by Hardie Grant and available online and in book stores.
Today’s chapter tells the story of Fairfax Media at rock bottom.
It opens at a deserted Domain, as the company’s new events push gets off to a disastrous start with nobody showing up for Spectrum Now festival.
The chapter recalls Fairfax Media at rock bottom in 2012 with the redundancy cull of a generation of journalists - the biggest exodus from the industry in a single day.
And it explores how the company took its broadsheets down to compact format and reset its cost base by removing layers of sub editing. It explains how The Australian Financial Review came to publish the phrase “WORLDISFUKT” on its front page.
It was a time when mining billionaire Gina Rinehart and adman John Singleton attempted to exert influence while CEO Greg Hywood held them at bay.
And then, when all seemed lost, a small team working from a secret office in Surry Hills came up with a plan to save The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald as printed newspapers.
Today’s chapter is free to all subscribers. Some future chapters will only be available only to paying subscribers to Unmade. The paid tier is available from $65 per month.
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.
As ever, I welcome your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the ugly brown comment button below.
Have a great Christmas.
Proprietor - Unmade