When Rupert handed me my letter of resignation to sign yesterday, he said that my decision came as no surprise to him. For a long time, he informed me, I had been hankering for more time on the golf course, and perhaps also some time giving a slightly more serious nudge to my frankly astounding Hunter Valley wine cellar.
Like many other media organisations, ours is in transition, and he said I was right to recognise that it was time for new blood at the executive level. No need for new blood in the chairman’s role, apparently, but there’s no point whingeing. As recent events in the UK have shown, criticisms of the Murdoch family’s judgment continue to rebutted with a forcefully extended middle digit.
I have spent 40 years at this company, and in that time I have witnessed some remarkable changes in the media landscape. When I began, printing presses and the gruff alcoholics who ran them were revered as supernatural beings in journalists’ primitive belief systems. Now, we rely on morbidly obese men wearing fedoras and bumbags to keep our so-called “servers” running.
Back then, p-rnography was trying to discern the outline of a ni-ple beneath the cossies of swimsuit models in the Australasian Post. Now, any child can summon up “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Buk-ake Party” with the touch of a Google button. I used to watch films from the front seat of my Monaro using a clip-on speaker. Soon, the boffins at Fox studios say we will be able to torrent Avatar 3D in 7.1 Surround directly into our cerebral cortexes. Back then, the big story was that we were bogged down in a futile, American-led Asian land war. And now …
But I digress. Your new CEO, whom you may have heard me refer to affectionately in the past as “that c-nt Williams”, “the baldy shitbird” or “Sir Squeak-a-lot” is the perfect choice to succeed me. As Foxtel CEO, Kim has spent a decade persuading people to pay actual money for lowest-common-denominator eye-crack that any civilised person should recoil from in abject disgust. This is precisely the skillset we need to transition our mastheads to a subscription model.
At this point it is customary to say that I wish him well in this task. In the desk drawer of the corner office that he will soon defile, as well as a week-old bag of prawn shells, I have left a handover document consisting of an enemies list, some pictures of iPads I have clipped from JB Hi-Fi catalogues, and menu options for the Christmas do at the Aurora. He can f-cking work the rest out for himself.
To the rest of you, I implore you to honour my legacy. Whether you are downloading Stephanie Rice’s Facebook photos, harassing a damaged teenager in an airport, or using your press gallery pass to carry out one of our several corporate vendettas, remember to hold your heads high.
Because after a fashion, in a certain light, you are, after all journalists. I in turn will remember you all most fondly as my golden parachute conveys me downwards, ever downwards, to my eternal reward.
Go F-ck Yourselves,