Those with transgenerational recall may remember a time when the Fairfax newspapers, among the country’s best according to legend, concerned themselves with journalism and ideas. Which makes a ”Memo to all staff” from Fairfax chief executive David Kirk fascinating reading, as they used to say of Age classifieds. When there were Age classifieds.
Kirk is writing to inform staff of the downstream consequences, as he might have put it, of the recent Fairfax/Rural Press merge.
The merge will deliver ”leading national news and information online positions”, a new ”diversity of revenue sources” and the capacity to respond to ”changing media advertising patterns”. We are only in ”the integration phase” but already there are signs that ”mastheads and businesses will be aggregated for management purposes”, this will involve ”direct reports”, ”reporting-line changes” and a ”merger integration plan” implemented by the ”integration leadership team”. Fairfax staff can look forward to ”project-based work streams”, ”charters and launch realisation” and the exciting possibility of ”cross-strain dependencies”.
The memo is five pages long and it only mentions journalism once.