2UE and 3AW off the market. In an email missive sent round to Fairfax staff today, CEO Greg Hywood explained that its radio stations 2UE and 3AW have been withdrawn from sale:

Good Morning all,

We have withdrawn our metropolitan radio stations from sale.

As I said when we announced the possible sale of the stations, it was all about price.  We had been approached by prospective buyers, who indicated they were prepared to pay a significant premium.  This is a public company and we have to take such overtures seriously.

As it transpired, the major bidder could not construct a finance package that was acceptable to us.

The stations are terrific media operations, and we are committed to their growth and prosperity.

To this end Michael Anderson, non executive Director of Fairfax Media and former CEO of Austereo, has agreed to lead the development of a new strategic plan to drive the performance of the business.

The process has been difficult and unsettling for our radio colleagues, and it is time we brought this to an end.

We appreciate the efforts of Graham Mott and his team during this demanding period.

Now is the time to regroup and focus on building on our strengths and taking on the competition.



The Australian reports that the final buyer involved was John Singleton’s Macquarie Radio, but that Macquarie suffered financing issues with its offer.

Front page of the day. Today’s Le Monde from France, reporting on the European economic summit, reads: “after the night, a small agreement.”

The Department of Corrections. Don’t speak ill of the dead. And when you’re a newspaper writing about the dead, maybe double-check they are definitely dead. Perhaps even more so if that apparent “dead” person founded the Rugby World Cup that you just won. From yesterday’s New Zealand Herald:

Julian Assange: Play ball, not Bolt, in free speech debate.

“It might seem unusual to take a stand for a bloke who has called you a ”patronising, supercilious racist git” when that very same man has just been prosecuted for ”race hate speech” — but the conviction of Andrew Bolt ought to raise alarm bells for all who believe in freedom of expression.” — Sydney Morning Herald

Tom Watson rejects calls to quit phone-hacking committee.

“The Labour MP Tom Watson has said there is no chance he will quit his role on the committee investigating the phone-hacking scandal.” — The Guardian

Newspaper sites see traffic drop across the board.

“All UK national newspaper websites saw a drop in traffic in September, according to the latest figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulation, with the MailOnline falling below the 70 million mark.” — journalism.co.uk

SBS: six to seven billions stories and counting…

“A story is represented as a sperm in a new brand campaign SBS created by US and Razor Sydney. The campaign introduces the line ‘Seven Billion Stories and counting’ – replacing the old ‘Six Billion Stories and counting’ line – to coincide with the population of the world reaching 7bn on Monday 31 October.” — mUmBRELLA

The 7pm Project nearly left out the word “Project”.

“Up until about a week before it premiered, The 7pm Project was originally going to be titled 7pm. Thankfully, somebody had the bright idea to add the word ‘Project’ to the show. Now that it is moving to 6:30pm the news-based show won’t have to undergo such a radical name change.” — TV Tonight

Disney Channel to be introduced in Russia.

“The Walt Disney Company on Thursday said it had completed a deal to introduce a nationally broadcast version of the Disney Channel in Russia, one of the world’s last big untapped entertainment markets.” — New York Times

Religion comes to the Jesus Phone.

“Apps of the Bible are now more frequently downloaded than Angry Birds, and the sacred texts of other religions aren’t far behind: there’s an iQuran, iTorah, and a digital Book of Mormon.” — New Yorker

Google + meets Google Apps.

“Google has just announced that Google Apps users can now sign up for Google+. Apps users will be able to share posts directly to other users within their workgroups and/or universities. And, in a nice move, Google is building a migration tool allowing existing Google+ users to port their personal accounts over to their Apps accounts (you’ll keep both your existing Circles and followers). It isn’t done just yet, but Google says it will be in a few weeks.” — Tech Crunch

200,000 passwords of journos, pollies and bloggers made public.

“Repeat after me: You should not use the same password on multiple websites. That’s an important lesson that thousands of bloggers are having to learn the hard way, after an extraordinary story broke in Sweden that involves Twitter, politics, password security and allegations that members of the national media were being spied upon.” — Naked Secturity