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Media briefs: Packer in SMHFin ad watch … Age in Africa

A thaw in the Packer-SMH war … weak weekend ad numbers in the papers … can’t differentiate between African cities? …

A thaw in the Packer-SMH war. Crikey’s been tracking the fawning coverage Crown chairman James Packer, and his proposal for a second Sydney casino at Barangaroo, has been getting in most of the media. The Sydney Morning Herald has been among the more sceptical outlets, with NSW politics editor Sean Nicholls and columnists Mike Carlton and Richard Ackland questioning the need for a second casino and/or the lack of a tender process.

That’s no surprise given the decades-long animosity between the Herald and the Packers. The casino mogul unloaded on the Herald in August, saying: “And the pissants from The Sydney Morning Herald writing more of the crap that they have written for more than 10 years — which is why the Herald is going down the tube — doesn’t surprise me.” So it was an eye-opener for Herald readers to open up the news section of their Saturday paper to find a James Packer op-ed “exclusive” spruiking the need for his proposed whale sanctuary …

The days when opinionising by vested interests was restricted to the op-ed pages seem to be over.  — Matthew Knott

Weak weekend ad numbers in the papers. Another weak set of editions for The Australian Financial Review and The Australian at the weekend as the federal government’s abandonment of the papers for all but senior job ads continues to bite. The Monday editions of both papers showed some life, with higher ad numbers and ratios. However, they were again well short of what is needed for the papers to remain profitable.

The 64-page Weekend AFR had a total of just 17 ads, four of which were house ads. That was an ad ratio for the paper (the biggest of the week for the paper) of just over two and a half pages, or around 4%. The 17 ads included three display job ads. More red ink. The Weekend Australian had more ads, around 35 in total, including six house ads in the first three sections of the paper (including the news, comment and business sections).

Today saw The AFR with a 52-page paper, plus two special reports (one of which was wholly supported by Cisco and no one else). The paper had 23 ads, including three house ads, with around six pages of paying ads all up (seven ads were real estate ads) and an ad ratio of just over 12%, which is the best for a Monday in the past month. The Australian had a 26-page paper with 18 ads, including two house ads, plus around three quarters of a page of general classified. That gave around six pages of ads which is an ad ratio of more than 15%, a high for a Monday. — Glenn Dyer

Can’t differentiate between African cities? This clip from The Age online world news section was sent in by a Crikey reader, who added: “The Age seems to be making its way back to simpler times when Africa was thought as nothing more than a blurry continent with no identity beyond killings and misery”. For those wondering, the generic “African city” was Maiduguri in Nigeria’s north-east …

Video of the day. Proud Democrat Chris Rock was concerned white voters may be favouring Mitt Romney in this week’s presidential election. So he used the Jimmy Kimmel Live chat show to assure white-bred voters Barack Obama is just as white as they are …

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  • 1
    michael r james
    Posted Monday, 5 November 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    A thaw in the Packer-SMH war”

    But in the same issue, in Weekend Business, Michael West laid into the whole smelly affair:

    It emerged this week that the government of New South Paraguay, sorry .. Wales, under El Presidente Bario Farrell, quietly watered down the tender rules just before they gave the go-ahead for Corwn’s high-rent gambling den — smack-bang in the middle of what was to have been a park.
    With the connivance of both sides of government, Las Liberales and the equally feeble opposition, El Labor, this free licence to print money seems but a done deal.”

  • 2
    zut alors
    Posted Monday, 5 November 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    It’s difficult to follow the logic of replacing a public park with an exclusive hell hole ostensibly catering to fly-ins from the Far East.

    Why do major party politicians fear this man? I don’t get it.

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