Fairfax CEO David Kirk didn’t hold back on
the ABC’s Inside Business
when talking about the bleak future for old media, or at least medium.

Captain Kirk said Fairfax had no interest
in it, it was a “very challenged business model” that would be under “a lot of
threat as
the proliferation of electronic channels and ways of getting to market –
including the Internet, including new digital broadcast spectrum, and including
multichanneling, including pay TV – continue to grow.” Quite simply, it “is in
long term decline”.

No, it wasn’t a refreshingly honest appraisal of newspapers by a
newspaper CEO – he was talking about free-to-air television. I suppose he now
has first-hand experience though of all those very problems.

He did seem keen, though, on grabbing one of the two new digital
spectrum licences to broadcast TV to mobile phones. Yeah, that’d be a
company-changing event. Not.

In passing, Kirk also reckoned there would be no big bidding war
for media assets, just cosy little agreed mergers – just the sort of thing to
fuel the Packer/Fairfax conspiracy theories.

Peter Fray

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