As Fairfax searches far and wide for a new CEO to replace Fred Hilmer,
ghosts of a past Fairfax CEO have returned to haunt the company.
Mulholland, who was the first CEO appointed to Fairfax by its
new-owner Conrad Black in 1992, has provided a potted history of his
the Great Newspaper Company in a two-part outpouring on a South
website – perhaps as a backgrounder for the candidates being
to replace Fred
In his lengthy reflection, Mulholland writes of the job (“akin to pushing
large boulder up a steep hill with one’s nose”), the stroppy printers
knew their days were numbered and expressed their frustration in
gestures such as dropping bolts between the cylinders as they ran”),
Fairfax journalists (“a more anarchic, spoiled and self-important mob I
not encountered before or since and trust I never will”), the board (“the
from hell”), and the competition (“The Telegraph… ran a piece claiming I had
been drunk in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton
where I was staying while waiting
for my wife to arrive… When I pointed out
to their chairman, a Murdoch skivvy
called Ken Someone, that I had not had a
drink in three months due to atrial
fibrillation he promised to have them run a
retraction. I await it yet”.).
Oh, and about Australians (“You’re an odd lot, you Aussies, tucked away in
remote little corner of the globe, stable, peaceful, prosperous, promising
safe… But you gaze at your navels too much… That’s why you’ve got
those bloody media outlets, thousands of journalists running around
nothing much to report on”.).
Read the Mulholland Chronicles here.