Channel Ten shareholder pain. Shareholders received a fully franked ordinary dividend payment for 2009 of 2 cents per share on 13 January 2009. It is currently expected that there will be no further dividend paid in the 2009 financial year due to the impact on current year earnings from the non-recurring items recognised in this result.

The hurt will fall greatest on the company’s 56.6% shareholder, Canwest, which is struggling to remain out of the hands of its banks:

Group revenue was $467.6 million, with Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $118.9 million.

Revenue for the television business Network Ten (TEN) for the first half of 2009 was $380.9 million, down 12 per cent on the same period last year, noting the absence of the Rugby World Cup and AFL Grand Final and the residual impact of the Beijing Olympics. TV EBITDA was $114.1 million (2008: $158.7 million).

Glenn Dyer

Conroy up for sale on eBay. It may be a bit late for April Fools, but Ebay member “Krudd53” has put the beleaguered Minister for Internet Censorship, Senator Stephen Conroy, up for auction. The advertisement for Senator Conroy was posted at 7.59PM today, and notes that the successful bidder will receive the Senator delivered by FedEx. The eBay listing follows Whirlpool.net.au’s crushing April Fools post announcing the sacking of the minister, drawing dozens of relieved and jubilant responses from unwitting Whirlpool members, and a total of 1,058 responses at the time of writing. — Apc

Reporters Without Borders condemns Indonesian arrest of four Dutch journalists. The international media group, Reporters Without Borders, has condemned the arrest of four Dutch journalists in the Indonesian province of Papua. The four were arrested last month in the Papuan capital after covering a demonstration organised to greet the return of Nicholas Jouwe. Mr Jouwe, who is one of the founders of the Papuan independence movement, the OPM, had been in exile in the Netherlands for 40 years. They were released the next day after being held for 12 hours. — Radio New Zealand

North Korea to try US journalists. Two American journalists detained in North Korea will be indicted and tried on charges of perpetrating “hostile acts” against the Communist state, a crime punishable by years in a labor camp, the North’s state-run news agency reported on Tuesday. Pyongyang’s decision to put Laura Ling and Euna Lee on trial signaled that the regime has no intention of freeing them soon. Their indictment comes amid heightening tension between Pyongyang and Washington over a North Korean plan to launch a rocket by Wednesday next week. — International Herald Tribune

Craig Moon, USA Today President/Publisher, announces retirement. USA Today President and Publisher Craig Moon announced today that he plans to retire, effective April 17. He also has oversight of USA Weekend, the Detroit Media Partnership, Gannett Offset and Military Times. Moon has been with Gannett for 23 years. “While the challenging media environment has been difficult for this industry and its people, it has also created new opportunities which I plan to explore with partners,” he said in a statement. — Editor and Publisher

The Lady magazine tries to shed dusty image. The Lady magazine, founded in 1885 as a “journal for gentlewomen,” is famous for recipes, rules of etiquette and classified ads seeking cooks, butlers and nannies. The Lady is a well known — though no longer widely read — British institution, whose classified ads have regularly been used by the Royal Family to seek domestic staff. Its offices, in an imposing pastel-painted building in Covent Garden, are a London landmark. Today, it marched into the 21st century with a glossy new issue featuring adventure-travel tips, full-colour advertising and even — whisper it — a website. [A quick glance at the advertising sections of The Lady give you a hint at the readership they’re going for, including Nannies, Holiday Property, Chefs, Live-in Care and Retirement Accomodation (not that there are any ads populating those pages yet.. hmmm).] — The Independent

Facebook takes a dive: why social networks are bad businesses. Social network sites have had trouble making money. MySpace was supposed to be a big part of the revenue growth at News Corp. Wall St thought Murdoch was a genius to buy it. Last year, News Corp had to admit that MySpace would not hit its revenue targets. That is usually not the hallmark of a property that is going to take over the Internet. Analysts believe that MySpace rival Facebook had revenue of $265 million last year. That is astonishingly low for a company that had 57 million unique visitors in the US last month. And, Facebook also has a very large international user base. Time

News of the World clashes with royal family over Prince William splash. The News of the World has clashed with the royal family after splashing on a story at the weekend claiming Prince William wants to fight in Afghanistan, which it withdrew after the first edition. On the front page of Sunday’s first edition the News of the World claimed that the prince unwittingly spoke to one of its reporters in a nightclub last week and told him he wanted to serve in Afghanistan like his brother, Harry. However, Clarence House immediately denied the story, which was replaced after the first edition with a follow-up on the paper’s previous exposé about the Labour MP Nigel Griffiths having s-x in his parliamentary office. — The Guardian

Detroit’s un-delivered papers hit the street. Detroit’s newspapers kicked off their grand survival experiment Monday by giving away redesigned print editions and announcing a new TV partnership. Starting this week, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News will be delivered to homes only on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. On the other days, smaller editions of the papers will be sold at stores and newspaper boxes. Both papers will be given away free on Monday at retail locations — an offer that does not extend to the papers’ coin boxes. — Poynter Online

American newspaper deathwatch. More layoffs at Condé Nast: The company confirms that it trimmed staff at Condé Nast Digital, but wouldn’t share numbers. Gawker says “20 or more employees” were laid off. Specifically, we’ve heard that Wired was gutted, but the cuts were across all of the digital group. Condé’s statement: “The creation of Condé Nast Digital was about setting the company up for growth in the digital area. As the various digital units merged we have found some duplication. We are streamlining to form one unified staff.” — Silicon Valley Insider

It is anti-American to try to keep newspapers afloat? Whether you’re a horse and buggy maker or a newspaper publisher, the bottom line is you’re a business. And when you stop making something that people want or need, you go out of business-that’s capitalism . . . that’s America. You don’t have to like it, but it’s what has kept our economic engine running. It’s simple supply and demand.Fox News

American public doesn’t buy media’s characterization of “Obama recession”. Despite attempts by media figures to pin the blame for the current economic situation on President Obama, a recent ABC poll found that “[e]ight in 10 Americans blame the situation on banks and other financial institutions … Just 26 percent, though, blame the Obama administration.” — Media Matters

The Daily Beast: advertising deal in the works. Apparently Tina Brown and company have yet to seriously pursue any ad deals — the Daily Beast site has been primarily ad free since it launched — and instead appear to be counting on the deep pockets of Beast backer Barry Diller. We’ve been informed by someone with knowledge of the situation that the site currently has a major advertising deal in the works and has been actively taking meetings with brands and media buyers alike. They also noted that traffic expectations (internal analytics have them far ahead of publicly reported figures) are also way ahead of expectations. — Media Bistro

Peter Fray

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