So is Andrew Jaspan the first or an extra sacking by the boners at Fairfax? It’s only a minor point but if he’s the first he may have saved someone, somewhere from a job loss, or Brian McCarthy, the Eddie McGuire of Fairfax, might regard him as a bonus. Mr Jaspan came to Fairfax from The Scotsman in Scotland, but if he or anyone is planning to look there for a gig after Fairfax, think again. The Scotsman is owned by Johnston Press and their results came out yesterday and were much worse than Fairfax. Revenue down, profits down and no dividend to conserve cash and lower debt. The company, which publishes The Scotsman, The Yorkshire Post and a other local papers around the UK, scrapped its dividend after saying advertising revenues in the first six months of the year had fallen by 9.5 % despite a 52% rise in sales from its websites.

The outlook remained even worse, the company said, with the first seven weeks of the second half seeing a 21% year-on-year fall. It’s not alone: last week figures from Newsquest, the UK arm of the US newspaper giant, Gannett, showed that property advertising had fallen by 44%. Pre-tax profits at Johnston Press fell 18.1% to £62.5m (around $125 million) on revenues down 6.3% in the first half of 2007. The company is 20% owned by Malaysian billionaire Anand Krishnan who picked up his stake in a rights issue earlier in the year. — Glenn Dyer

Fair go, Fairfax The Media Alliance has launched a new web site, “Fair Go, Fairfax: Don’t discount journalism” as part of the current campaign.

The site has a petition, background information, editorials and other features. The petition can be found here.

Meanwhile … Rabid, knee-jerk, celebrity obsessed, faux indignant, agenda pushing, cross-promoting, tabloid, cheap shot talk jock Neil Mitchell takes a swing at Crikey and its publisher: listen here.

Keep up ninemsn Why can’t the Nine Network do the right thing and kill off the Sunday program’s website at Ninemsn, or is that too hard for the mob at Ninemsn? — Glenn Dyer

The big questions “Do you look after your bum?” Watch as Larry Emdur’s soul leaves his body on The Morning Show as he demonstrates a step by step guide to performing a… butt facial.

Road safety with the former editor of The Age Check out the pic of Andrew Jaspan on the Herald Sun website:

No seat-belt Andrew! You never know … an accident might be just around the corner.

Media hordes converge on Denver — is there any point? The thing about the conventions is that so many reporters come to them. The result is that it’s rare for anyone to write anything important. “I don’t like events where there are a gazillion reporters,” Mr. Nagourney said. “If you come here and David Axelrod came walking down the aisle over there, there’d be 500 people around him, and you’d be getting the most boilerplate quotes. So what’s the point?” What is the point? — The New York Observer

Ad dollars dwindling With their extraordinary TV ratings, the Beijing Olympics have captured the gaze of nearly everyone in the media and ad business. Back on these shores, however, there’s another contest that has begun to absorb attention: whether broadcast TV can rebound from an awful season and keep ad dollars flowing into its coffers. — Adage

Radar’s media winners and sinners  Winner: Barack Obama, for crafting an intricate and intelligent tax plan which, according to David Leonhardt’s comprehensive analysis in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, makes the Democratic nominee the “tax cutter” for “most people” in this campaign. A few highlights.. — Radar Online

Press v party establishment Media and Conventions have been a tug-of-war between the media and the party establishment for years. Beginning with Michael Deaver’s tightly controlled cinematic unveiling of Ronald Reagan, modern campaigns have sought to manage the press by controlling the images. When properly deployed and stage-managed, the message can overwhelm the medium. The presidential campaign of Barack Obama has all but christened a new era by seizing the medium itself. The network pageantry has been replaced by the network effect — a huge pipe directly to his supporters, no intermediation involved. The press, it seems, just gets in the way. — New York Times

Propaganda push against al-Qaida A Whitehall counter-terrorism unit is targeting the BBC and other media organisations as part of a new global propaganda push designed to “taint the al-Qaida brand”, according to a secret Home Office paper seen by the Guardian. The document also shows that Whitehall counter-terrorism experts intend to exploit new media websites and outlets with a proposal to “channel messages through volunteers in internet forums” as part of their campaign. — The Guardian

Peter Fray

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