Details have emerged of one of the issues that helped to inflame the editorial staff at The Age in the lead-up to last week’s meeting.

It concerns the appointment of a marketing manager, Hamish McLachlan, as a columnist for the Sport section, with a brief to write about sports and marketing.

McLachlan is also the presenter of Channel 7’s football show Game Day, and was a director of SpyGlass Management, which ran the troubled AFL Hall of Fame.

In 2004 the Federal Court found that SpyGlass “hopelessly insolvent.”

“It has many creditors, whose debts in aggregate exceed $26 million.”

All this and the aftermath were covered extensively in The Age, of course, and then staff heard that McLachlan was to be their new columnist.

To have a commercial manager writing for the paper was unprecedented, let alone a marketing person with such a high potential for conflict.

We understand that McLachlan submitted a column, but it was not accepted. Nevertheless, the deal  — which Age insiders believe was personally approved by Don Churchill — shows the blurring of the line between marketing and editorial.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.