We asked, and a handful of you cared enough to answer. Here are some Crikey reader’s thoughts on the strategic direction of Fairfax.

Stuart Leslie writes: This is not necessary a cost saver, however, I am a devoted SMH reader/(subscriber until Nov) and have been for 20 years. I’m from Wollongong and we in the ‘gong are slugged $1.40 each day for the SMH, however a recent trip to Sydney I was able to gain the SMH for free from:

  • Imax
  • Gloria Jeans Darling Harbor
  • Novatel
  • Sydney museum
  • Sydney observatory

I think that if you made the SMH free it would have a duel impact on your business, increasing circulation thus increasing advertising revenue. I am sure the $1.40 per paper is a small offset towards the costs of production.

Oh yeah, sack Miranda Devine (she would get a job as Malcolm Turnbull’s press secretary).

Sam Dawson writes: With News Ltd keen to exit their funding of the NRL and associated clubs may I strongly suggest Fairfax filling that void. With the NRL providing so much copy for all media outlets, what with boorish behaviour that contravenes most society standards but captures plenty of eyeballs and eardrums, why not do the obvious, cut more pesky editorial staff and rely on a subsidised, yet guaranteed content provider to keep producing headlines. Quadruple bottom line …

Mark Duffett writes: Only someone living in Melbourne or Sydney could describe Fairfax as being the “better HALF” of the country’s “robust serious press”. Accordingly, the best strategy for Fairfax is to make itself truly national.

Roll out serious online daily news presences in Adelaide, Tasmania and the NT, strengthen WA Today and the Brisbane Times. Even if this means some redeployment from The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. Challenge News Corp on its no-longer-home turf.

Vincent Burke writes: As a migrant from the UK, now living in Adelaide, I felt starved of decent newspaper reading at weekends, so used to buy the weekend SMH and Saturday Age plus the Sunday Age to supplement The Advertiser and Weekend Oz.

Part of the appeal of the weekend SMH were the lively columns written by Alan Ramsey (OK, so he was often off the wall but rarely boring — plus like me he was a Howard hater) and Mike Carlton (also lively and mostly on my wavelength). Neither of them has been effectively replaced, except for the occasional piece by David Marr — when he’s not pouting. However, it’s strong enough — just — to keep me as a reader.

As the Sydney and Melbourne papers morphed more and more into one, I cut out the Saturday Age, and the Sunday Age is getting so thin I’m considering ditching that too. I don’t know if this relates to strategy and how much of their income is derived from interstate, but their cost-saving measures seem to lead inexorably to lower sales.

I’m thankful to have Crikey to provide an alternative to our exclusive Murdoch media zone in Adelaide.

Chris Graham writes: I have two suggestions for Fairfax into the future:

  1. Get rid of Brian McCarthy.
  2. Get rid of Brian McCarthy.

“Que” writes: 30 invited members of staff playing with their blackberries are going to save the day? Considering how long the writing has been on the wall for the future of print media and how poorly Fairfax et al have been performing I don’t think Fairfax even have the capacity to organise a fart in a curry house.

Richard Grant writes: More in depth reporting and please stop the Life magazine and improve Good Weekend. I think the Sunday Age is just a fashion magazine instead of having engaging topics.

Michael Janek writes: Below is why I cancelled my SMH subscription and went with Crikey, only buy SMH Monday; too frightened to buy the weekend edition as Devine might appear and fuck up my day with her ill informed rantings. I generally like your other journos {excluding Sheehan}.



“Envirodude” writes: Report the facts available at the time without personal opinion. Then report on the right-wing as the jokes they are because of the barrage of crap you’ll receive for doing so, make it funny thou not serious. Working well elsewhere.

Be a part of the intelligent debate without the sense you’re superior to others, no matter how much money they have. Oh yeah … do away with senior management altogether obviously they’re not needed and are a drag on the bottom line.