Kerry Packer has been one of Crikey’s favorite topics
of discussion since the beginning – here a just a few highlights from
the archive:




On the Packer ban (17 November 2004):

So the official line from the Nine Network, according to the Sydney
Confidential column in today’s Daily Telegraph is that Crikey was
banned by the Nine Network yesterday because too many staff were
logging in and that Crikey was a “gossip” website and not a “resource”.

By this yardstick, will the Nine Network now also ban the Daily
Telegraph
(and its Confidential Gossip column), The Australian,
especially the Thursday edition, with the Media section (and gossip
column by Amanda Meade), The Sydney Morning Herald and its Spike gossip
column, The Australian Financial Review and its Rear Window gossip
column?

As well as the Herald Sun and The Age, both with TV, business and other
columns? And papers in Brisbane and elsewhere that carry TV or business
or general gossip pages? And what about the Sydney Sunday paper last
weekend that snapped David Gyngell and fiancé, Nine Sydney reporter,
Leila McKinnon cuddling on a Sydney beach?

It was the Sydney Sun Herald and the gossip columnist was Annette
Sharp, who has written some b*tchy and sharply worded material about
Nine in the past (she was pushed out of publicity in the early 90s) and
Seven.

Is that paper to be banned? Or were those photographs encouraged and
fed to the paper, perhaps as a plan to limit exposure of a bucks night
for Gyngell and other happenings in the lead up to the Gyngell-McKinnon
marriage next month?

On the famous the Packer quote (15 December 2004):

The troubles that the Packers had with Hoyts is at the heart of the
exchange that led to Kerry Packer’s question to Crikey at the 2000 PBL
AGM, “Do you deliberately set out to be offensive or is it just
natural?”

In 1999 we had pursued this question of “private Packer vs public
Packer”. When the proposed Crown Casino takeover price was 45c a share,
it was going to be Kerry’s private company CPH, but when the price rose
to 60c a share, the deal was taken on by the public PBL.

Same with One-tel. The private companies of James and Kerry were buying
in at 3c, 12c and 30c, but when the price kicked up to 70c and then
$1.20, minority shareholders helped foot the bill through PBL.

We alleged in 1999 that Packer took the best deals for himself and gave
PBL second bite of the cherry. Our question the following year was
based around Hoyts. We pointed out that PBL had made $80 million in
Village Roadshow but when the Hoyts investment came up the $600 million
bid for the equity was done through CPH.

We simply said that there was talk in the market that Hoyts was going
bad and asked whether James Packer could confirm that for once private
Packer had picked up a dud deal that could have gone to public Packer.

Suggesting Kerry had lost money is what he regarded as offensive. Talk about thin-skinned.

If you’d like a Crikey mug inscribed with this Packer quote, just check
out the ad in last night’s second edition for the details on the 6
month early renewal that will have it sitting on your desk next week

On why Packer never flew Qantas (11 March 2004):

Hopefully new Qantas
director James Packer will get along better with Qantas cabin crew than
his dad did although we’d be surprised if he ever bothered to fly
commercial.

Back in the late ’70s after the World Series
Cricket victory, Kerry Packer’s secretary always booked him a first
class non-smoking seat in accordance with doctor’s orders.

As
soon as he could Big Kezza would light up – and be asked to move over
to the other side of the cabin with his fellow wealthy human
incinerators.

On
one flight up to Singapore, the chief steward asked Packer to move over
and he was not impressed. Next thing the call light goes on and Flight
Service Director “Tony” goes up to see what Kerry wants.

Packer
apparently replied along the following lines: “This call light has been
on for fifteen minutes -where have you been? Down the back with your
p**f mates?”

Tony immediately discontinued all service to
Packer so there was no more food or drink for him and his lady
companion until Singapore.

Obviously the proverbial hit the
fan in Singapore and Qantas asked the Flight Service Director for an
apology – Tony offered his resignation instead.

Qantas got back to Packer and advised that in future if he wished to fly the Kangaroo, he had to abide by the laws.

And
that’s how Kerry’s private 727 jet came into being. Rather than be told
by cabin crew what to do, you buy your own plane. Sure, it’s expensive
– but that’s what absolute power is all about.