An Adelaide media watcher writes:

Yesterday’s Australian
Media section carried some crucial lines from the founding editor of Adelaide’s quality broadsheet The Independent Weekly,
Alex Kennedy, on her resignation earlier this week: “I’m very sad. All I’m able to say is that management
sets the tone of the paper it owns. If senior editorial staff don’t have
confidence in that, then they have a problem because management is the boss.”

Chairman Ian Meikle has also
walked this week, after the paper ran a page one apology to Coopers Brewery
this week for a story on its current takeover battle.

The Australian also
included the following comments from managing editor and Adelaide PR man Paul

The Weekly’s managing editor, Paul Hamra, said
he believed Kennedy had been planning to “change her working arrangements” next

“I think a difference of opinion on this triggered that [change]
earlier,” Hamra said. He declined to comment on the page-one retraction, saying
the decision and the reasons for it had been made clear in print.

Hamra said Meikle’s decision was not linked to the departure of

“Ian’s still a shareholder, a significant shareholder, we’ve got a
number of significant shareholders who have bought into the company,” Hamra

“There’s going to be a new board and I guess it became increasingly
difficult to have a Sydney-based chairman of an Adelaide-based publisher.”

Hamra is a very good
spin doctor. Local media insiders feel he has much, much less of a grasp of journalism,
publishing and running a newspaper.

Talk around town says
that Hamra misstated readership figures for the Independent a few months ago.
It is now being said that his comments in The Australian contained more spin
than substance – that Hamra did not know how media organisations usually deal
with threat like the one from Coopers and reacted inappropriately.

Insiders say the
Independent now faces a “revamp” that they fear will lead to cost savings,
redundancies, dumbing down – and an ignominious, premature death.