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Media briefs

Aug 7, 2012

Media briefs: radio ratings … Fairfax’s free floors … ABC jobs free …

In today's Media Briefs: Fairfax mulls floor space lease drive ... Kathy Jackson ally launches HSU power bid ... Front Page of the Day ... ABC jobs up for grabs ... The New York Times' paywall success ...

Big ratings losses as Fairfax proves it’s not all talk. Fairfax Media’s AM talk stations in Sydney (2UE) and Brisbane (4BC) suffered big losses that could not be offset by another gain for Melbourne market leader 3AW in the fifth radio ratings survey of 2012. The poor performance of the two Fairfax stations, and an ABC local radio station in Adelaide, took some of the gloss off what was a strong survey for talk, especially 2GB in Sydney and the ABC local radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

2UE’s share of just 4.5 is now at a level where the station’s future is very much problematic. It is all but unsaleable, except to an opportunistic buyer such as John Singleton and his Macquarie Radio group. 4BC in Brisbane saw its share dip 0.8 to 6.9, almost as bad as 2UE’s 0.9 loss. 3AW had a gain of 0.6 to 15.4, so the news wasn’t all bad for the Fairfax board. 4BH in Brisbane lost 0.7 to 6.8. But 6PR in Perth added 1.1 to 10.0.

In fact, if you are looking for positives from the ratings, the ABC has a few. Both 702 in Sydney and 774 in Melbourne saw recoveries of gains lost in the past couple of surveys and are now strong No.2s in each market. In Brisbane, ABC 612 also saw recent losses halted and a solid gain and has moved up to fourth from fifth. ABC Classic FM added listeners in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, but not Adelaide. The Triple J network also saw gains in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but not Adelaide. — Glenn Dyer (read the full story here)

Fairfax mulls floor space lease drive. As senior Age business writers and political scribes scramble for the exit at Melbourne’s Media House, the cash-strapped company is looking to deal with the hectares of open and possibly tumbleweed-infested floor space set to be freed-up by their departures.

Crikey understands senior bean counters are in the early stages of deciding what to do with the space, with the possibility of whole floors in the seven-story edifice being hived off to a call centre. The Age is currently on level two with the well-paid 3AW talent sitting pretty on level seven. An experienced journo takes up the tale: “Level three containing sections and The Sunday Age is like a ghost town with lights out and empty desks.”

Meanwhile, Crikey can confirm Melbourne Life editor Lorna Edwards has decided to leave the paper, following the departures of late night re-writing legend Tom Ormonde and veteran scribe/house committee activist Ray Cassin. Edwards oversaw the popular back page of the paper featuring the pictorial insights of Oslo Davis and Andrew Weldon and the Postcode 3000 gossip column. Fairfax spokesman Brad Hatch declined to comment on the space issue this morning. — Andrew Crook

Kathy Jackson ally launches HSU power bid. It has taken a while, but staunch Kathy Jackson ally Fleur Behrens has launched her campaign for electoral glory at the HSU’s No.3 Victorian branch. Fleur’s website, modestly titled, was launched last night spruiking the wares of the Fleur Behrens’ Team (note the possessive apostrophe).

Behrens, a university graduate who lacks experience working alongside the health professionals the branch is meant to represent, appears to have been “inspired” in her motto “focus, change, achieve” by this New Zealand life coaching site. In May, Behrens signed a statutory declaration alleging a bizarre Bill Shorten plot to get a hospital employee to “sign charges” against Jackson to assist his supporter Diana Asmar.

Fresh elections for the HSU No.3, No.1 and NSW-ACT branches are set down for later this year after administrator Michael Moore moved to demerge the disgraced HSUEast branch, sack its executive management and call for a new poll. Other No.3 branch tickets include radiographer Craig McGregor’s “CleansweepHSU3” group, that is keen to distance itself from Jackson ‘s legacy. It is understood the election process will be wound up by mid-October at the latest. — Andrew Crook

Front page of the day. The murder of six people in a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sadly brings another mass shooting to the front pages of American newspapers. Here is today’s Journal Sentinel:

ABC jobs up for grabs

“Senior ABC news executives will have to reapply for their jobs as the broadcaster undergoes an organisational transformation for multi-platform digital broadcasting.” — The Australian

The New York Times‘ paywall success

The New York Times‘ paywall, long debated in and outside of the company, now looks like a bona fide success.” — All Things D

Malian journo beaten

“A journalist in Mali has been badly beaten by Islamists occupying the north of the country, after reporting on the Islamists’ failed plans to amputate a thief’s hand.” — Voice of America

TuneIn radio has 40 million listeners

“Streaming radio service TuneIn has raised $16m in its latest round of funding, while announcing that it now has more than 40m monthly active listeners.” — The Guardian

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