An Adelaide media watcher writes:
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
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“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.