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.”
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“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.