tip off

Media briefs: Strewth! … Markson v Go … more newspaper spin-offs

James Jeffreys leaves large shoes to fill. And other media tidbits of the day.

Tell us something we don’t know. We know that Christian Kerr is employed in the Strewth column on the Peter Luck/Grant Denyer principle — never get anyone in who won’t ensure you’re missed — but, well, strewth! He’s going into injury time with James Jeffreys’ long departure. Monday’s column had items got from: The Bolt Report, The Advertiser, a book just out on Nixon, a gag working off old news about Glenn Druery, and an item from the BBC website. Mate, the whole point of the column is to tell us something we don’t know, not to surf all day and make lame comments. On Friday, even dutiful News drone Rebecca Weisser managed a juicy bit on Kathy Jackson’s personal life and some inside goss on the RET before falling back into company line. The day before that it was Christian again  — with items from Bob Carr’s Diaries, Mark Latham’s latest, the Hockey biography, and a tweet/plug from Rob Oakeshott. “Books, books, books … They’re everywhere,” moaned Christian. They are if you never go out, or make a phone call. Hurry back, JJ, before CK starts reciting the Hobart White Pages.

Meanwhile, Oz media editor Sharri Markson would like you to know that she is not happy that Marina Go, CEO of Private Media (which owns Crikey), apparently tweeted unkind things from The Australian’s 50th birthday bash — didn’t hear about? Yes, they’re 50, how bout that! (they didn’t want a fuss) — and it wasn’t nice at all to spoil their fun. —  Guy Rundle

They said it. From The Courier-Mail:

Initial reports indicated a man in his 70s had fallen into the silo at a farm at The Gums off Leichardt Highway, about 200km west of Toowoomba around 2pm.

Channel Nine have reported former Federal MP Ian Cameron was the man involved in Sunday’s incident.

It has since been clarified he was buried up to his shoulders in grain in the silo’s unloading dock …

… Mr Cameron had kept a low profile in recent times …

A newspaper company is born. A new US newspaper company was born overnight when the Tribune Publishing Company was spun off and listed on Wall Street. With official trading starting tonight, the shares have traded on what’s called a “when issued basis” overnight and finished down 1.4%. The Tribune was floated out of the Tribune Co, the Chicago-based newspaper and TV owner that went bust more than four years ago and emerged from bankruptcy in early 2013.

Tribune Publishing has been set adrift by its parent because the future for newspapers is so appallingly bad — the same reason why Rupert Murdoch spun off News Corp. Tribune Publishing has been mooted as a possible target for News Corp, but Rupert Murdoch ruled out such a move last month because of American restrictions on multiple media ownership outlet rules (which the current Australian government wants to ease). Tribune looks a better bet on paper than News because its market discount is smaller than that accorded News. That’s said to be because News had most of its assets outside the United States, in Australia and the United Kingdom. News Corp is due to report its fourth quarter and financial year profits early this Friday morning, our time.

Tribune Publishing’s shares closed at US$21.81, down 31 cents. That gave it a market value of just over US$546 million, with sales of US$1.8 billion, a discount that all listed US print companies are showing. It had assets of around US$614 million at March 31 this year. News Corp fell overnight, down half a per cent in New York to US$17.29. At that price its market value is US$10.2 billion, two-third the value of its more than US$16 billion of assets. Tribune’s Co’s publishing March quarter revenue fell 5.4% from a year ago to US$417 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and other items fell 11% to US$40 million. Tribune Publishing opens for business with US$350 million in debt.

Tribune is one of the biggest newspaper groups in the US. It owns 10 daily titles, over 60 digital media properties and over 150 smaller papers and magazines in eight major US markets. The major papers include the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Sun Sentinel and the Orlando Sentinel in Florida, The Baltimore Sun, The Capital and the Carroll County Times, and around Baltimore, the Hartford Courant, The Morning Call in Pennsylvania, and the Daily Press in Virginia. Collectively, Tribune Publishing is the No. 2 largest Sunday newspaper publisher in the US (based on sales). — Glenn Dyer

Forthcoming correction from the Tele? From Tips and Rumours in yesterday’s Crikey:

On Friday, in one of the more nauseating pieces to appear in Australia’s least-trusted metropolitan newspaper in some time, journalist Ben Pike gave us an “exclusive” on wealthy land owner Ian Turnbull, who is alleged to have shot NSW Office of Environment and Heritage officer Glen Turner dead while Turner was serving a notice on Turnbull.”

Wheat farmer Ian Turnbull ambushed Glen Turner on a public road and opened fire while the environment compliance officer was inspecting an unrelated site, police will allege. Mr Turner was not on the Turnbull family’s properties and was not serving a notice for illegal land clearing when he was allegedly shot several times, throwing serious doubt on claims by Mr Turnbull’s family that the 79-year-old farmer had been pushed to the edge by repeated harassment.

So who did Pike speak to, and will the Telegraph correct the record? — Glenn Dyer

Video of the day. John Oliver takes on native advertising …

Womens Agenda

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