Message to all staff

The Australian
today has once again used its editorial pages in its Media
Section to attack The Age. It says a lot about that paper’s editorial
standards, ethics and values.

What their readers don’t know is that despite continued discounting,
The Australian is a small player in the Victorian market and the
soon-to-be-released circulation and readership figures will confirm that. The
facts are these:

  • The Age sells more copies in Victoria than The Australian does nationally. The Age‘s lead nationwide is 57,183.
  • The Australian sells 25,000 copies in Victoria compared to The
    ‘s 194,100 – The Age‘s lead is more than 160,000. From a circulation
    high of 48,000 on the back of a 40c discounting deal in 1998 The
    ‘s circulation has nosedived. To put it in perspective The
    ‘s circulation is less than the Geelong Advertiser and only
    marginally greater than the Ballarat Courier.
  • No wonder The Age‘s advertising volumes dwarf The Australian in display and classifieds.
  • The Age reaches more than 6 times as many Victorians as The
    . The Age attracts a weekday readership of 700,000 while The
    in Victoria has only 78,000 in Victoria.
  • The Age‘s lead in the key AB demographic in Victoria is 284,000 on weekdays and 338,000 on Saturday.
  • The Age‘s AB readership on Saturday is bigger than The Australian and the Herald Sun combined. Our lead is 88,000.

The Age
continues to perform strongly both in circulation and
readership and I am extremely confident of further gains this year. Our
guess is that will not be the case for The Australian. We will let the
facts speak for themselves.

While obviously their house ad department is having a banner year, we
will continue to focus on what we do well – breaking stories, producing
the highest quality analysis and setting the agenda. Over the past
month we have broken more than 25 stories including new revelations on
the AWB scandal, corruption in the Geelong City Council, ALP branch
stacking, hospital delays, Melbourne City Council, and so on.

The Age
is continuing to put together a strong local management team, a
new-look approach to promotional activity, an on-going growth of home
subscribers (now well over 100,000) and we are now in the final stages
of putting in place our team of journalists. This includes both
internal and external appointments.

The outlook for The Age is extremely positive.

Don Churchill

Managing Director