It’s lonely at the top, as Fairfax business media head, Michael Gill, found last night at Sydney’s swanky Four
Seasons Hotel

At the
2005 Personal Investor Awards, the last in the present form, Gill must have been thinking: “Why am I here?”

There he was at the front table,
with just three other people on a table that seats ten. No Personal Investor people to be seen
around him. It was as though there
was a boycott, but I’m told some were there deep in the crowd.

Gill made a two-minute speech then handed over to some folk from the Chaser to run the evening.

Meanwhile, doubt continues over Gill’s reasons for closing PI and Shares and combining
them with the new Smart Investor monthly insert in AFR due in November.

Last Saturday Gill was quoted in the
AFR (which he controls as publisher): “We are in the process of discussing with our
staff issues that arise from plans to reorganise and refocus our business in
response to changes and opportunities in the market.”

The AFR report went on to say: “Both Shares and Personal Investor have been hit by falling sales and
ad revenue in recent years, as mergers and acquisitions in the financial
services and technology sectors have cut their advertiser base, and the
explosion in information services for retail investors has eroded their circulations.”

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey