News Limited’s Adelaide media
monopoly has been under threat over recent months, with the launch of a
new quality Sunday broadsheet, The Independent Weekly, and monthly The Adelaide Review switching to a newsier, fortnightly format – with plans to go weekly. Sales of the Independent
are rumoured to be weak, but it recently introduced a revamped
lifestyle and review section, “in”, that’s making a mark. It has had a
couple of killer yarns of recent weeks, including a confession from the
state parliament’s yampy former speaker, Peter Lewis, that he is
bisexual – but that an unfortunate bullet injury has rendered him “not
much use to anyone” – and carried stories about shenanigans at the
Adelaide Town Hall and a lack of capacity at the yet to be opened new
city airport which The Advertiser should have run.

The Review,
however, is lagging. Owner, Spanish millionaire Xavier Moll, has big
plans for the paper, but its layout is poor and its content is
confused. The Review may have been too dominated by the likes of Tony
Abbott and John Stone when it was Christopher Pearson’s baby, but it
held together. Now, it even lacks a captain. Editor David Sly walked on
Friday, sending this message to his team:


With heavy heart I announce to you my resignation from The Adelaide Review,
and under the terms of my employment contract I will work for the next
four weeks and produce the next two editions of the publication – and
so I would plead for your complete support during this time. I intend
to make the next two editions a fitting swansong.

I am afraid that the lack of staff resources available to me and clarity of managerial direction have forced my decision.

The Independent
is controversial – with Alex Kennedy, a no-holds-barred former
chief-of-staff to disgraced former Liberal premier John Olsen editing
it could
be nothing but – and it derives too much of its copy from syndication
arrangements with its British namesake. But it is breaking stories.

And another South Australian independent publication used its pages for a jab at the News behemoth last Sunday. Glossy monthly SA Life ran this ad:

David vs Goliath

“All vibrant cities should have a
magazine which is unashamedly parochial and challenging, intelligent
and engaging,” said Michael Miller, managing director of Advertiser
Newspapers, in an article headed “Countdown to the best magazine in
town” announcing a bi-monthly insert from September 29 (The Advertiser,
May 12).

To: Rupert Murdoch, Los Angeles

“Sorry Rupert, the best magazine is already in town.”

From: David Smith, Editor and Publisher, SA Life Magazine, Adelaide.