Never accuse Harold Mitchell of
not following words with actions. When Australia’s leading media buyer
told Crikey ten days ago he was outraged at our allegations of
widespread rorting by publishers of circulation figures, he followed up
with a very public attack on radio. In scathing comments during his
regular slot with 774 ABC’s Virginia Trioli last week, Mitchell,
chairman of the nation’s leading media buying company, said he would
take up the issue with the heads of the nation’s media organisations,
starting with News CEO John Hartigan.

“This would be a scandal
in this country,” he said. “In America in some cases it’s happened in
the print world and very large amounts of money, many many millions,
have been given back to advertisers. Now this could be very serious.”

Check out the transcript of this very revealing interview on the Crikey website here.

And check out the latest US newspaper circulation rumble here, where the prestigious Baltimore Sun
has seen its circulation slashed by 11% because it has stopped giving
away copies in hotels and in other venues – the same problem that would
confront Australian newspapers if they ever came clean with their

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey