An interesting portrait on Wikipedia. I had a look at the John Howard Wikipedia entry this morning. At the top RH side is a link to a photo, which when clicked linked to this (very graphic, not for the easily offended, you’ve been warned) URL.

SBSi are treated with disdain. Further to Matt Campbell vs SBSi tip today – communication has pretty much broken down. SBSi are treated with disdain and frequently excluded entirely from decision making process, then expected to make it work with production companies, often on unrealistic expectations, which wouldn’t happen (perhaps, some of Campbell’s disdain is actually well placed) if SBSi were consulted more before Campbell went into things. And regularly SBSi commissioning editors champion a program and the production company will be told where it’s all going and expected to deliver with planned outcomes in mind, only for Campbell to change his mind on scheduled date or time slot, often at the last minute after publicity, marketing and website plans have been put in place and signed off on. Often at cost of reasonable amounts of cash, and much more amounts of resources.

Slow growth. You had an item about Fairfax’s great results yesterday, and highlighted their digital strategy paying off. But, you didn’t seem to notice that in fact Fairfax’s digital classifieds revenue grew more slowly in FY2007 than FY2006, both in % terms and in real terms. You can find the numbers in their analysts presentations for the two years. In 2007 the growth was $20.2m. In 2006 it was $26m.

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Leadership whispers are doing the rounds. Word is (again) that Minister Paul Henderson in the Northern Territory Government has the numbers (still!), and Labor backbenchers are underwhelmed by Clare Martin’s response to the Little Children are Sacred report… the leadership whispers are doing the rounds (again).

Where’s Julia? I had breakfast with her this morning (along with a whole bunch of other business types). Can report she’s in very good form and working hard on reassuring the big end of town that they’re not about to wind back the clock to the 1950s. Mentioned she’s in Sydney until next Monday and pretty much back to back with these types of shows.

More on private equity and Myer. Things are unravelling fast for the supermarket boys running the place. Plans for a float late next year are looking shaky thanks to the volatile global financial market and rapidly declining sales, which will cause much pain for owners TPG. The short-term focus is about delivering huge profits, but will have serious consequences in years to come. The Myer Melbourne sale for more than $600 million was achieved by agreeing to a rent that would make the store’s longer-term profitability marginal at best. Let’s just say the post-redevelopment rent for city store will help propel the Bourke St Mall to among the most expensive retail strips in the world. Not an issue if you are planning a quick exit but a very big issue if you can’t flog the place while sales are going backwards. Melbourne generates 10% of sales and has made a major contribution to the bottom line, even when former owners Coles were charging a market rent based on book value. The $190m plus FY07 ebit will need close scrutiny.

The final touch. The Liberal candidate for Lindsay (Karen something – stood for Mulgoa in the State election) is nothing if not brave. She has opened an electoral office in Queen St, St Marys between the “Final Touch” brothel and Stingers Tattoo studio. What a photo op for John Howard to prove his aspirational credentials!

More Crosby Textor leaks. Every significant Labor member has a full copy of the last Crosby Textor tracking study. Why? And who leaked it?

Our media landscape is amongst the most concentrated in the democratic world. Big media businesses are marred by big media interests. If you want the full, untainted picture on important issues — our environment, corruption, political competence, our culture, our economy — Crikey is required reading.

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Josh
Sydney, NSW

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