It’s lonely at the top, as Fairfax business media head Michael Gill found last night at the 2005 Personal Investor Awards at Sydney’s swanky Four Seasons Hotel.

There he was at the top table alongside just three other people on a table that seats ten, with no-one from Personal Investor
– one of the two magazines Gill closed down earlier this week – to be
seen around him. It was as though there was a boycott, but I’m told
some were there deep in the crowd.

It seems our story earlier yesterday about Fairfax closing Shares and Personal Investor ruffled Gill, judging by this snippy missive he sent a couple of hours after Crikey Daily hit inboxes:

From: Michael Gill
Sent: Wednesday, 27 July 2005 3:47 PM
To: Andrew Birmingham; Tony Featherstone
Subject: FW: crikey today

I would appreciate it if you could convey to people the facts:

1. We have made no public announcement as we have been in discussions with staff.
2. If there is a rumour about BRW shifting to a monthly, it is based on a lie.
3. Our audits are accurate.
4. The new magazine is, as we said, a newsstand title.

And here’s another email that was doing the rounds yesterday, from the Fairfax Business media house committee to its staff:

Dear Members
We have received a response from management to some of our concerns. We have
had some small wins, but the company is intransigent on the main issues. Here’s a summary.

1. The production desks for all five titles will be moved to Sydney.

2. The company now seeks expressions of interest from all staff in FBM in Melbourne (incl. BRW and AFR) about voluntary redundancy. The company will accept or reject those applications according to its selection criteria.

3. At the same time the company will ask production staff at MIS CFO Asset PI and Shares in Melbourne and journalists for PI and Shares to indicate their preferences between relocation, redundancy or alternate position.

4. Staff are to tell management preferences and interest in voluntary redundancy by August 4.

5. The company will explore alternative jobs at The Age and Text for those interested.

6. The company will advise of their preliminary views on who gets what by August 8 and will make final decision by August 10.

The company is offering an additional $5,000 to those wishing to
relocate. We propose to hold a stop work meeting to discuss these
issues and the members’ response to them tomorrow at a time to be

Jacqui Walker
On behalf of FBM house committee

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey