Walker’s departure sends Fairfax shares on the up No formal announcement has been made to the ASX but Fairfax shares rose 4.2% in morning trade off the back of the story in The Financial Review today reporting that Chairman Ron Walker will step down in August next year. Ron Walker told The Fin Review yesterday of his decision. “I have discussed with the board my intention to retire as chairman in the second half of 2010, after we have completed the board renewal program, settled the new chairman’s role and released our 2009-10 profit results,” Mr Walker said. As The Fin reports:

Mr Walker, who has been chairman since August 2005, was understood to have told his fellow directors at Fairfax’s most recent board meeting in Sydney on August 21 that he would not seek a new three-year term.

Late last year Mr Walker survived a push by some institutions for his removal — he received the unanimous support of Fairfax directors at a board meeting on Dec 10. — Sophie Black

Live News wasn’t making money, simple as that: Livenews.com.auMacquarie Radio Network’s attempt to break into online news — was suddenly closed yesterday. Readers were informed with a brief note on the site’s home page saying: “The Macquarie Radio Network has decided to close down the livenews.com.au website. We thank you for your support and loyalty over the past couple of years.”

The company issued a statement to Mumbrella from sales director Mark Noakes saying: “MRN conducted a comprehensive business review at the beginning of 2009. It was determined that the company would pare back its digital commitment to assets that were a direct extension of the radio offering. Livenews.com.au was successful from a traffic perspective but this was not translating into incremental revenue that justified its costs of operation. The renewed focus on core assets is already reaping significant revenue rewards.” — Mumbrella

Digitally altered: In the future, I could quite easily see myself being set up in a Digital Strategist/Producer team similar to the dynamic of an Art Director/Copywriter team of a traditional Ad Agency. Media is the creative in so many circumstances in Digital and without a gun Producer being able to work out the feasibility of your ideas, you’re really nothing. — Adspace pioneers

I’m gonna let you finish… Crikey gets the Kanye treatment here:

A strange affiliation Fairfax Media’s Brisbane Times has a story on the site now that links at the bottom to a yarn in The Queensland Times — owned by APN. Is this a new development in co-operation between the moguls? Story is headlined as below.

MP says Springfield is soulless CHRIS GARRY
September 17, 2009 – 5:55AM Comments 4

An Ipswich MP has launched a scathing attack on Springfield’s developers – accusing them of creating a crowded, soulless community with a shocking lack of facilities. Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller told     Parliament the ”greed” of developers such as the Springfield Land Corporation had been unchecked by Ipswich City Council.

”(Springfield) is not master planned for the community,” she said.

”It is master planned to get as much profit as possible for the developers.

”What in the hell are we developing here? Are we developing communities? Are we developing housing estates that have no soul?”

For full story go to: The Queensland Times.

Is the white half of Obama racist? Rush Limbaugh yesterday capped off a free-wheeling show on the scourge of racism in America by suggesting that Obama’s white half is racist because he hasn’t thrown a bone to his Kenyan relatives, Media Matters reports. “I’m just going on Newsweek, that we’re all born racists, and Obama had a typical white grandmother, in his own words,” Limbaugh said. “Maybe the half-white side’s winning out here. A dual battle going on inside the cranium there.” Limbaugh also issued a treatise on “Obama’s America,” recounting the story of a white student attacked by black students on a school bus. — Newser

African broadband goes live. A new high-speed undersea cable connecting East Africa with the rest of the world is poised to go live, Kenya’s top internet official has told the BBC. The launch of the government-backed East African Marine System (Teams) comes as providers face a backlash over slow connection speeds and high prices. Internet providers have increased speeds and lowered costs since the Seacom cable went live in August. — BBC News

White House apps. The Obama administration has unveiled a government “app store” designed to push the federal bureaucracy into the era of cloud computing. The Obama administration is pushing for the government to use cloud-computing technologies. The change means some federal employees will begin using services like YouTube, Gmail and WordPress, which store data on private Internet servers instead of on those paid for with public money. The process will start small but will ramp up quickly, Vivek Kundra, the U.S. chief information officer, said in a blog post on Tuesday. — CNN

The Right’s Bernstein? As recently as 2004, the right counted as its greatest new media triumph a cooperative effort to debunk a CBS story on President Bush’s National Guard service. How quickly the bar has been raised. The ACORN expose offered original reporting, broke on a movement blog, released updates in a way calculated to maximize the damage to its target, and produced immediate results: already the United Stated Census Bureau has informed the organization that its services are no longer wanted, and the United States Senate voted Monday to prevent it from receiving federal housing funds … All that’s missing is appropriate recognition by the national press that a worthy, significant scoop has been produced. — The Daily Beast

Get more Crikey, for less

It’s more than a newsletter. It’s where readers expect more – fearless journalism from a truly independent perspective. We don’t pander to anyone’s party biases. We question everything, explore the uncomfortable and dig deeper.

Join us this week for 50% off a year of Crikey.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
50% off