While the unofficial agreement between the Packer and Murdoch families not to trawl over each other’s private affairs appears to be holding, the News Ltd tabloids haven’t completely ignored the story.
When The Age turned up at the Herald Sun office late on Friday, 6 January, with Kate McClymont’s story on the front page, the tabloid did the usual quick follow-up for the later editions to try and spoil their rival’s exclusive. The following appeared on page seven of the Herald Sun on 7 January:
Packer shares moved before death
Kerry Packer shifted shares in one of his private companies to a female employee a month before his death on Boxing Day. Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents show Mr Packer’s shares in investment company Ledino were transferred to Julie Trethowan, 48.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Ms Trethowan, who could not be contacted last night, worked for Mr Packer for more than 20 years, most recently as the boss of Mr Packer’s health and fitness club. Ledino is believed to have an interest in property worth more than $10 million. Mr Packer was worth an estimated $7 billion.
Clearly, that is not a real follow-up because it fails to give any credit to The Age and also fails to even use the “friend” line, let alone state the bleeding obvious that Trethowan was Packer’s long-time mistress.
With Nene King being the first Packer confidante to confirm Trethowan was Packer’s mistress when talking to ABC Melbourne’s Jon Faine yesterday, it remains amazing that Australia’s newspaper duopoly and commercial radio have still failed to note the story.
Why should Kerry Packer get such special protection when ACP’s Woman’s Day has this week published what appears to be the fictional tale of Simone Warne having an affair with Shane Warne’s best mate, St Kilda strongman Aaron Hamill?
I discussed this issue with Virginia Trioli on ABC Sydney this morning, so at least more citizens of Sin City now know a bit more about the man who exercised enormous power in Australia over the past 30 years.
It certainly won’t get a mention in the one-hour documentary to be aired on Channel Nine next month which will be free of advertising, thereby ensuring Nine won’t be accused of profiting from Kerry Packer’s death. But the additional 50,000 copies of The Bulletin’s tribute issue will gross another $250,000 for ACP, even if it is small beer in the scheme of things.