The latest metropolitan newspaper circulation figures provide the newbie CEOs at News Ltd and especially Fairfax Media with their biggest and most important tests.

Fairfax's annual meeting was told yesterday that revenue hadn't recovered from the slump earlier this year and was down 4% in the four months to October. Last night the Fairfax family revealed it was selling its 9.7% stake in the company for around $193 million, or a loss of more than $700 million.