The Fin plugging holes. The turmoil inside the Australian Financial Review following the harried departure last week of deputy editor Brett Clegg and several other acolytes has been plugged by a spate of new appointments inside the paper. This email was sent to all staff yesterday afternoon from lilliputian editor-in-chief Glenn Burge.

From: Tracey Jones
To: FRG – All Staff – DL
Sent: Mon May 10 15:23:19 2010


I would just like to formally announce a range of appointments that will further enhance the Financial Review Group’s editorial management capability and prepare us for an exciting period of print and online growth.

SEAN AYLMER has been appointed deputy managing editor of the AFR. Sean moves into this role from his current position as Editor in Chief of BRW magazine where he has successful executed a re-positioning of the magazine’s editorial objectives. Sean has an impressive background for his new role. His career includes working as an economist at the Reserve Bank and an economics and financial writer at the Sydney Morning Herald. After joining the AFR in 1999, Sean’s roles have included Financial Services Editor, Canberra-based economics correspondent, News Editor and New York correspondent. Sean will report to Managing Editor Paul Bailey and be directly responsible with Paul for the planning  and execution of daily coverage. Sean will work with fellow deputy managing editor Simon Anderson on a range of projects as we progress out print and online future across the AFR and its magazine titles.

SIMON ANDERSON continues is his deputy managing editor role, reporting to AFR Editor and FRG Editorial Director Glenn Burge as we complete the roll out of the Methode system across print and online. Simon has led the successful Methode project implementation and the rolling out of the ‘one newsroom’ approach as we navigate the print and online future for our dominant business titles. Simon will work with me to manage the ongoing online editorial development phase. Simon’s editor roles previously include Companies Editor and News Editor.

CHRIS NIESCHE has been appointed deputy editor (national). In this role, Chris will work closely with Greg Earl (National Affairs Editor and Asia-Pacific Editor) on national political & economics coverage. He will also work closely with Simon Anderson on developing our online national coverage capability. Chris in the mid-1990s was a reporter for The Australian in Sydney and Brisbane, before going to New Zealand as a correspondent. He later joined Dow Jones as NZ bureau chief, before joining the New Zealand Herald as business editor. He joined the AFR as deputy news editor in 2007.

FIONA BUFFINI has been appointed an Associate Editor and will continue as the AFR‘s News Editor. Fiona has been News Editor for 3 years, and previously was a reporter covering a range of areas, including courts, professions and tax. The promotion is recognition of her success in the current role. Fiona will work closely with Sean on ensuring our national coverage has a strong involvement from all reporters across the AFR.

AARON PATRICK has been appointed deputy news editor. Aaron rejoined the AFR as Companies Editor last October from the Wall Street Journal based in London. Aaron joined the AFR in 1999 from the Herald Sun. He later worked in Canberra, before becoming the AFR‘s New York correspondent.

ROBERT GUY has been appointed deputy editor (business). He will specifically oversee the Companies and Markets sections, and be responsible for generating our broader business coverage, working closely with Sean Aylmer. Rob will also write high level business and markets commentary and analysis. In addition, he will work with Simon Anderson and editor Ben Woodhead on several content initiatives for Rob has held a range of writing and management positions, including editor of both the Companies and Markets sections. He is a former New York correspondent. Rob will re-locate from Perth to Sydney next Monday.

TONY BOYD  has been appointed as the AFR‘s new Chanticleer columnist. Tony brings an impressive knowledge of Australian and international business and markets to his new role. In a 32 year career, Tony has held a range of key writing and editing roles. He has been a foreign correspondent (UK and Tokyo), along with roles as Editor of both the Financial Services and Information sections. He has also held the Global Markets Editor role. Tony will writing his first column on Thursday.

ANNE HYLAND has been appointed Associate Editor (Business). Anne began her career at the Courier Mail before joining Bloomberg in 1994. Anne joined Fairfax as a business reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald, before going to UK where she worked at the Daily Telegraph and Guardian newspapers. She rejoined the AFR and was Financial Services editor, before returning to Asia as a Hong Kong correspondent for the AFR covering Asian business, and more recently as a contributor from Bangkok. Anne will be responsible for generating higher level business coverage content for both the AFR and AFR magazine, in addition to her senior writing role.

ANDREW WHITE has been appointed Companies Editor. Andrew joined the AFR in 1989 as a trainee, and his roles includes Adelaide reporter, and a corporate reporter in Sydney. He later worked in the UK as a freelance reporter covering M&A, privatisation and funds management.  He joined the Australian in 1996 covering rounds including retail, banking and finance, courts. He was Business Editor of the Australian (2005-2007) before rejoining the AFR as rear Window Editor. Andrew was a joint Walkley Award winner for the AFR‘s coverage of the Opus Prime collapse.

VESNA POLJAK has been appointed Financial Services Editor. Vesna has been deputy to Tony Boyd since early 2009 after earlier working as a business reporter in the Companies section where she covered transport, utilities and infrastructure. Vesna won the National Aviation Press Club award for news story of the year for her coverage of the Qantas-BA merger talks. Prior to joining the AFR, Vesna worked for Bloomberg (2004-2006).

PETER KERR has been appointed WA bureau chief. Peter joins from the West Australian, where he is deputy political editor. Peter has been covering both WA politics and broader business and economics since joining the West Australian in 2007. Peter previously worked for the Reserve Bank in a range of roles, including a stint in New York where he traded foreign exchange and US government bonds. Peter will take up his new role in mid-June.

BRW. As announced on Friday, Sean will continue to oversee BRW until the appointment of a new Editor in Chief, with Editor Kevin Chinnery being responsible for the day to day running of the magazine .

These appointments put the AFR in excellent shape as we further develop our print and online future. I’m sure you will all join me in congratulating everyone on their new roles.

Glenn Burge
AFR Editor and FRG Editorial Director.

Andrew Crook

Radio ratings: talk leads in Sydney; Melbourne rival emerges. 2GB and Alan Jones are still kings of Sydney breakfast radio. Kyle and Jackie O lost ground in breakfast for 2Day; ABC Local Radio 702 saw big share gains for Adam Spencer in breakfast and Richard Glover in Drive, but a big loss in evenings. Fairfax’s 2UE lost more ground all day and week and especially in breakfasts where another large chunk of the audience vanished. 2GB was top with a share of 16.2, up 0.7 from the second survey — Jones lifted his share to 18.7 from 17.2, while Ray Hadley in mornings lost ground, easing 0.2 to 18.3. Chris Smith, the reformed whatever in afternoons, saw his share rise 0.6 to 14.1.

At 2Day, Kyle and Jackie O saw their share slide 0.7 to 11.5, well behind Adam Spencer on 702, whose share rose 1.5 to 13.9. Deb Cameron in mornings saw a 0.5 rise to 10.6, Richard Glover’s share jumped 1.2 to 12.7, in drive second behind 2Day’s streaming of Hamish and Andy with 13.6 (down 0.6). 702 evenings lost 2.0 to 9.0. 2GB won weekends from 702. Fairfax’s 2UE remains a basket case: the overall share fell 0.3 to 4.4, with breakfast with John Stanley and Sandy Aloisi losing a solid 0.9 to just 4 (that can’t last) — the second big loss in a row. Classic Rock (the old Vega) rose 0.4 to 3.6 and its rival MMM added 0.1 to 5.6. Triple J saw a solid loss of 1.1 to 4.5; Nova was steady in the survey with 6.7.

In Melbourne, it’s too early to know if the John Singleton gamble in turning the faded 3MP into MTR 1377 all-talk is going to work. The ratings for the station were down, but it’s too early to say conclusively that it was due to the switch. The fourth survey should show something clearer because it will be all MTR. Breakfast (Steve Price) added 0.1 to 1.9; mornings lost 0.5 to 1.8% (Steve Vizard factor?); afternoons (Chris Smith from Sydney under MTR) lost 0.4 to 1.9.  No real idea of knowing whether the dips were a hang over from 3MP or the new guard.

3AW topped the pile with a share of 15.0, up from 14.5 thanks to a 0.9 rise in breakfast and a similar rise (to 17.1) for mornings and Neil Mitchell. Fox saw Hamish and Andy in drive ease 0.4 to a still dominant 21.3. Fox’s overall she eased 0.1 to 14.0 and still second behind 3AW. ABC 774’s share rose 0.2 to 12.9 (so a good survey for local radio in Sydney and Melbourne). Red Symons in breakfast lost 0.5 to 15.8, and still second behind 3AW’s duo. John Faine in mornings lost 0.4 to 13.6. MMM lost 0.5 to 5.2; Classic Rock (the old Vega) was steady on 3.5; Nova fell 0.5 to 8.1; Triple J added 1.1 to 5.3.

In Brisbane, B105, Nova  and 4MMM swapped positions in survey 3. B105 lost 0.9 to 12.6 (from 13.5 and number 1); Nova lost 0.8 to 11.8 (from 12.6 and number two); 4MMM added 0.8 to 13.0% to move from third to first. 97.3 FM added 0.3 to 11.5 in the latest survey. Fairfax station 4BC added 0.7 to 7.9 (which was better than 2UE), while ABC 612 shed 0.1 to 9.8. — Glenn Dyer

A bit nippy thanks to the Apple freeze

“Magazines planning to launch iPad editions for the Apple’s glossy e-Reader device will have to censor themselves to make it into Apple’s No P-rn app store, I heard yesterday. And we’re not just talking about Nuts; ‘edgier’ fashion magazines like Dazed & Confused and Vice will have to seriously cut back on n-dity in photography and fashion shoots.” — Shiny Shiny

The fall of Newsweek and the benefit of competition

“Now, as various billionaires consider whether to bid to keep Newsweek alive, the folks at Time are left pondering the same question we at Newsweek considered a few years ago when US News was in jeopardy: Are we better off if our rival survives or disappears?” — Harvard Business Review

The 48-hour magazine

“Creating a magazine from start to finish in two days sounds like an insane, nearly impossible task. But that’s what a group of writers and editors did this weekend to produce the first issue of the appropriately named 48 Hours Magazine — an experimental project that aimed to use the internet to shake up the way a print magazine is made.” — Wall Street Journal

Facebook hires former Bush regulator

“Facebook has hired a former senior Bush administration regulator in Washington to defend its privacy practices as it confronts increasing scrutiny on Capitol Hill and the federal regulatory agency charged with consumer protection.” — Financial Times

How governments can benefit from social media

“The simplest way of describing government 2.0 may be any technology that helps citizens or agencies solve problems, either for individuals or the community, and enables government to operate more efficiently or effectively.” — Mashable

YouTube for finance market nerds

“So Thomson Reuters is trying to change television. Its new product, Reuters Insider, is a web-based video service that captures myriad streams of information produced by the company’s reporters and 150 partners.” — New York Times

Pan-Arab TV: more channels, less advertising

“Arab TV viewers enjoy more free satellite channels than their counterparts in developed countries or emerging markets, and although 95% of TV households access free programs, only 70% of television revenues come from advertising.” — Huffington Post

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