It seems our story yesterday – about Fairfax
closing its Shares and Personal Investor magazines, adding a magazine supplement
to the Financial Review, and possibly winding back BRW
from a weekly to a monthly publication – ruffled some Fairfax feathers.
Namely, those of the chief of business publications Michael
Gill, who fired off this snippy missive 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.

So, now that we have “the facts” about Fairfax according to the top
brass, here are some of the facts facing Fairfax staff, also forwarded
Crikey’s way after yesterday’s
story:

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.

7. 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 announced.

Regards,
Jacqui Walker
On behalf of FBM house committee

Peter Fray

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