In just three years, Australia has lost one-third of its national media diversity, and the key media players have significantly strengthened their grip on media assets.
In 2007, in the aftermath of the Howard government's media ownership changes, there was a brief increase in the diversity of ownership of our most influential media outlets. James Packer began selling out of his television and magazine interests altogether, to private equity outfit CVC, while retaining his interests in subscription TV via Foxtel and Fox Sports. At that stage, there were nine media groups of national significance. News Ltd controlled most of the country's newspapers, 25% of Foxtel and 50% of Fox Sports; Fairfax controlled the Sydney and Melbourne broadsheets; Nine, Seven and the Canwest-controlled Ten were the major metropolitan commercial free-to-air TV outlets (7, 9 and News Corp via BSkyB also control Sky News on Foxtel); Bruce Gordon's WIN had the most extensive regional television network and the strongest regional news service; Packer retained influence via Foxtel and Fox Sports; Southern Cross Broadcasting controlled a regional TV network and the key metropolitan talk radio stations 2UE, 3AW, 4BC and 6PR; and West Australian Newspapers, while not a national entity, controlled the only daily in Perth and a string of regional radio stations in the west.