Farewell Earthmovers and Excavators The departing head at ACP magazines, Scott Lorson finishes up tomorrow. He wrote this message to staff this week.

From: Lorson, Scott
Sent: Wednesday, 1 October 2008 12:27 PM
Subject: Farewell


Friday will be my final day at ACP, and what an amazing journey it has been.

There is something truly special about this confederacy of small businesses. A distinguished history and unparalled portfolio of brands is only part of the story. Passion, teamwork and extraordinary talent is what defines ACP, and has cemented its reputation as one of the world’s leading publishing organizations. It has been a privilege to watch you apply your craft at the highest level on titles as varied at Australian Women’s Weekly, Madison, NW, Gourmet Traveller, House and Garden, Ralph, Street Machine, Earthmovers and Excavators to name but a few.

I also want to say what an honor it has been to work with you through such an exciting, challenging, and formative period in magazine publishing. As in the past, ACP has led the way with investment, innovation and consumer insight — extending its portfolio of market leading brands with the recent additions of Zoo, OK!, Grazia, Top Gear, Rolling Stone, FHM, Australian Dirt Bike, BBC Good Food, Wondertime, Lucky Break (NZ), Discovery (Cathay Pacific – HK) and Silk Road (Dragon Air – China), as well as the former EMAP Bounty and Action Sports titles.

ACP has led in the development of relevant and complementary brand extensions (Digital /TV/ Oneshots), and has established a world class event portfolio headlined by the new Australian fashion fixture — 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty. Consumer engagement and affinity with ACP brands continues to grow, and your efforts have been rewarded with market share gains in circulation and advertising in nearly every segment in which we compete. Importantly, relationships with our publishing and retail partners remain strong and vibrant.

The economic landscape has necessitated some tough decisions over the past year, and you have responded with professionalism, character and class. With strong leadership and a committed team, and the best publishers, editors and sales professionals in the business, I have every confidence that the future for ACP remains bright.

I would like to reserve a special thanks for Ian Law, Phil Scott, Pat Ingram, David Gyngell, Jeff Brown, Pat O’Sullivan, and the entire ACP Senior Leadership team – Keith, Paul, Julie, Matthew, Eugene, James, Greg, Guy, Lynette, Lou, as well as for Gerry, Darren, Niall, Hannah, Luke, Kim and Cecilia. My tenure at ACP has been both memorable and rewarding thanks to your support and enormous contributions.

Finally, thanks to all the unsung heroes of ACP, including the hardworking teams in Custom, Trader, Property Press, Finance, Marketing, Research, Digital, PR, Events, HR, IT, Legal, Production, Circulation, Retail, Network Services, Photography, PrePress, and our international teams in NZ, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong. You continue to play a key role in ACP’s success, and your efforts are greatly appreciated.

I wish you all the best.


– Scott


ACP Magazines

Gruen Transfer joins the export list Kath and Kim, Thank God You’re Here and now The Gruen Transfer. Three local successes in commercial or public TV that have gone, or could be bound for overseas.

Kath and Kim airs on NBC in the US a week tonight, Thank God You’re came and went from NBC last year and now The Gruen Transfer has been optioned from the ABC by Endermol, the giant international TV producer responsible for such gems as Big Brother, Wipeout and Deal Or No Deal. The Gruen Transfer is actually an idea from Andrew Denton’s production company, Zapruder’s other films.

The ABC said this morning that “Format giant Endemol has optioned new Australian format The Gruen Transfer from ABC Commercial for the Netherlands, ahead of its MIPCOM 2008 launch. “A fast and clever original half-hour primetime TV show about advertising, The Gruen Transfer is from production company Zapruder’s other films and represented internationally by ABC Commercial,” the ABC release said. Ten eps of The Gruen Transfer went to air here on the ABC from May onwards and rated its socks off. Another series has been ordered by the ABC for next year. All three programs are original ideas developed here in Australia. — Glenn Dyer  

Read it a day later in The Oz.

From Crikey yesterday:

The 1,000 delegates at the national aged and community services conference in Adelaide unanimously decided that the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, was the highlight of the day’s proceedings. The only problem was she wasn’t there. Justine Elliot has been a notorious “no show” at the not for profit sector’s conferences since becoming Minister: she ducked out of a major regional function in Albury at the end of February, sending her predecessor, shadow minister Jan Mclucas (who as delegates said, at least knew what she was talking about in the speech she gave). Elliot also missed the Community care conference in Sydney in May, sending Steve Georganas, the member for Hindmarsh. This time round, she pulled the plug less than 24 hours before speaking but the organizers were ready. They refused the offer of a substitute and just told the delegates the Minister would not be appearing. As they said afterwards “it was the highlight of the day”. Instead of being told they were doing a bad job by Justine (“I make no apologies for closing down/sending in inspectors, referring matters to police” etc,) Elliot, the Minister was forthright, clear and coherent. She just wasn’t there!

From D.D. McNicoll’s column in the national broadsheet, today:

The more than 1000 delegates at the National Aged and Community Services Conference in Adelaide that ended yesterday unanimously decided that Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot was the highlight of the gathering. For Elliot there is just one small problem: she wasn’t there. Workers in the aged care area claim Elliot is becoming a regular no-show at the not-for-profit sector’s gatherings since she took over the portfolio. They say she avoided an important regional function in Albury in February and was replaced by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Jan McLucas. She missed a community care conference in Sydney in May, sending Steve Georganas, MP for the western Adelaide seat of Hindmarsh. In Adelaide she pulled the plug less than 24 hours before her advertised appearance. But the organisers were ready. They refused the offer of a substitute and simply told delegates Elliot would not be appearing. The non-appearance was acclaimed as “the highlight of the day”.

The only significant difference? Crikey also ran the response from the Minister’s staff.

The Office of Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot rejected the claim. Minister Elliot has presented 15 major speeches on aged care in the last few months. This includes an international conference on dementia, the Population Summit in Melbourne and a major economic speech at CEDA in Perth. We get dozens of requests for the minister to address conferences in all corners of Australia, but unfortunately, we cannot attend all of them. The industry gets unprecedented access to the minister and just two weeks ago, Minister Elliot met the national board of management for Aged Care Association of Australia.

Make the call D.D., make the call.

Push off oldies The Rudd Government’s budget night promise to establish a yoof affairs arm has finally born fruit with the announcement of various quangos including an ‘Office for Youth’ and the ‘Australian Youth Forum’. It’s heartening to see a formal commitment to grant-giving but today’s launch has raised the ire of the teenage media moguls at Melbourne’s SYN FM, the station that launched careers of Hamish & Andy and Peter Costello’s son Seb, among other luminaries. Ridiculously, the gig is being MCed by ageing Triple J breakfast presenter Robbie Buck (who, according to his unofficial MySpace page is at least 33), suggesting someone in 31-year old Minister Kate Ellis’ office is ignoring its own 12-25 age guidelines. Don’t get me wrong, Buck’s a nice guy, but it’s high time the government expresses some confidence in the young people it’s apparently eager to through money at. A few years back, ubiquitous ‘youth representative’ Marcus Westbury wisely renounced his figurehead role at the age of 31, concerned that he’d become disconnected. It’s high time Buck, and his fellow veteran bureaucrats at the national broadcaster, did the same. — Andrew Crook

Rates slashed! Check out the third bullet point under the money section. Now that WOULD be big! I took this screen capture early this morning, but funnily enough it’s no longer on the website.

 — A Crikey reader

Humphries to head up Oz version of The Spectator. No, the other one. The Spectator is launching a special Australian edition to be commissioned in London by Oscar Humphries, the son of Dame Edna Everage creator Barry Humphries. From October 4, the magazine will be printed in Sydney and will contain 12 new pages dedicated to Australian current affairs, politics and culture. The launch issue will see contributions from the former opinion editor of The Australian newspaper, Tom Switzer, a diary by Oscar-winning film director Bruce Beresford and a pieces from lawyer and film producer Charles Waterstreet. The additional Australian pages will only be available in Australia and New Zealand, where the Spectator already sells an estimated 4,000 copies each week. — The Guardian media

Interested in time travel? To celebrate their tenth birthday, Google is offering the chance to pretend its January 2001 again… … Hark back to a time when Kevin Rudd was still a lowly MP and September 11 was just another date…. google.com

What McCain’s smile really means A marketing research system that studies the emotions expressed by facial muscles has been used to analyze presidential campaign ads. The system is the subject of the new book, “Face Time,” by Dan Hill. Mr. Hill heads Sensory Logic, a consulting firm that has been using “facial coding” methods to study second-by-second consumer reaction to TV commercials. Its clients are normally large marketing corporations. But during the primaries, the company began analyzing audience reactions to the major candidates’ ads. Advertising Age

Letterman, YouTube star Sen. John McCain’s snub of David Letterman last week may have deprived the “Late Show” host of some needed star power last week, but it’s given him a hit on the web. So far, video of Mr. Letterman’s tirade against Mr. McCain, who bowed out the day of the telecast, has generated more than 3.5 million views on YouTube. One problem: CBS is barely making a dime from the clip. That’s because the vast majority of the views — 3.2 million — are attributed to pirated versions of the “Late Show,” according to tracking firm TubeMogul. — Mediaworks, Adage