The Price wasn’t right. In the end Steve Price’s contract argument with Fairfax Media was all about cost. Not the $800,000 claimed in this story from the Sydney Morning Herald website yesterday.

“It is understood he failed to reach an agreement with 2UE — which is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of the Herald — on his salary, which is estimated at $800,000, with rumours he was asked to take a pay cut.”

It’s a bit rich that the media company owned by the same company inflates someone’s salary in reporting that person’s departure. Sydney radio industry sources say Price was earning around half that and Fairfax radio boss Graham Mott wanted that cut to around $250,000 as he continues the Fairfax Media board directive to rebalance the cost base at 2UE.

It was the reason why Mike Carlton left earlier this year after broadcasting the 2UE breakfast shift. His reported salary was more than $1 million, but he realised that was untenable. His replacements, John Stanley and Sandy Aloisi were costing 2UE less than half Carlton’s salary. Price said the decision came as he decided to pursue new challenges.  The Age reported Price may join a new station in Melbourne.

The Australian confirmed that.  Price will be working for John Singleton’s Macquarie Radio group, in the Deep South. he had been in Sydney eight years, before that he was on 3AW in Melbourne. For Price’s replacement at 2UE, try Ben Fordham, the A Current Affair reporter and occasional radio host. Dad John Fordham (John Laws, Andrew Johns and others) is said to have negotiated a gig for Ben at 2UE in 2010.

The final radio ratings of the year are out early next week. That will tell us what sort of year it has been for Pricey, Gloria, Kyle et al. — Glenn Dyer

Nine Network toe-cutter heads to NZ. Ian Audsley, the former toe-cutter at the Nine Network, seems to have been hired to whip the under-performing TV3 and C4 in New Zealand into shape. The channels are owned by MediaWorks, which Australian private equity group, Ironbridge Capital bought from Canwest in Canada.

His gig is for 12 months and he replaces for group chief executive Brent Impey. There is pressure for MediaWorks to deliver profits in the midst of the worst recession in NZ for years, but like all private equity buyouts (such as Audsley’s last gig at Nine) Iron Bridge took on a large debt burden to finance its play back when times were good in 2006.

There has been speculation of further cost-cutting at TV3, especially since the resignation of Impey, effective on December 31. At one stage Nine had an option over TV3 and provided management to run it. — Glenn Dyer

Headline of the day. Courtesy of — who else? — The NT News, comes this piece of sub-editorial genius for a report that found “women in the Territory were more likely to smoke during pregnancy than their southern counterparts”: Up the duff, on the puff

Print metrics plan falters. Fairfax and Magazine Publishers of Australia have both withdrawn from the controversial process of creating a new print readership measurement metric. — mUmbrella

100 essential websites. Andy Warhol talked of a time when everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. With hindsight, however, he might have wanted to revise that down to about five minutes. — The Guardian

Fox News caught fudging the numbers. Last week, Fox and Friends showed a Rasmussen poll graphic revealing that a whopping 120 per cent of the American public believes scientists may be falsifying research to support their own theories on global warming. — Think Progress

Behind the scenes with Obama’s press corps. A rare look inside a presidential trip. — CNN

Tasmanian Liberals Copy ABC Word for Word. The Tasmanian Liberal Party have been caught lifting content directly from the ABC Rural website.


Peter Fray

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