Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:

This memo penned by CEO David Kirk went up on Fairfax noticeboards this week and has got a few tongues wagging at the Smage:

Dear Colleagues

Following the departure of Mark Scott some adjustments to
our organisation will assist us to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Editorial Board

I have decided to establish an Editorial Board to support
the cooperation and development of our metropolitan newspapers, our magazines
and our online news and information business.

The Board will be chaired by me, will meet monthly and will
comprise the following people:

Alan Oakley
Editor, Sydney Morning Herald

Philip McLean
Editor, The Sun-Herald

Andrew Jaspan
Editor, The Age

Peter Fray Editor, The Sunday Age

Lisa Hudson
Publisher, Fairfax General

Mike Van Niekerk
Editor-in-Chief, Fairfax

Jack Matthews
CEO, Fairfax

Don Churchill Managing Director, Fairfax

James Hooke
Managing Director, Fairfax NSW

Karim Temsamani
Commercial and Group Magazine Director

Bruce Wolpe
Director, Corporate Affairs

The Board will be a vehicle to debate, discuss and agree on
key initiatives to maintain and improve the performance of our editorial
products. The Board will agree overall strategy for the development of our
newspapers, including changes that will need to be made to maintain relevance,
impact, circulation growth and commercial success in a digital world.

In addition the Board will be responsible for ensuring
alignment between NSW and Victoria on editorial direction where this makes
sense and likewise alignment between print and digital…

So could the Sydney Morning Herald and Age be about to become even more indistinguishable? William Birnbauer, head of the recently reconvened Age
independence committee, told Crikey this morning that staff are watching with
interest to find out just what “ensuring alignment between NSW and
Victoria on editorial direction” actually means.

Readers of the two papers might argue they already know.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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