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Media briefs

Jan 23, 2014

Media briefs: Abbott on HuffPo … newspaper departures …

Abbott, Freedman splash on HuffPo ... Newspaper departures, digital futures ... Correction of the day ... Front page of the day ...

Abbott, Freedman splash on HuffPo. So, this happened overnight, sending social media circles into a spin …

It’s only the British version, mind you, but still, a proud day for the nation to have the Australian Prime Minister’s nuanced take on the Syrian crisis splashed across the front page of The Huffington Post. The Onion need add nothing to this. And he wasn’t the only Aussie on the digital cover this morning …

Tony and Mia leading the world: an early Australia Day present.

Freedman got caught up yesterday in an online stoush with Kochie (that is, Sunrise host David Koch) over an online video, a stripper pole, an outraged slap on the Mamamia website and a defence that was delayed in being published. TV Tonight has a good summary, but all you really need to read is the statement from Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell: “If any strippers have been offended by this video, we sincerely apologise.” — Cassidy Knowlton

Newspaper departures, digital futures. The ever-growing pressures coming from the internet has produced major changes at the top of two major media groups on both sides of the Atlantic. First up, Tony Gallagher, the editor of conservative London paper The Telegraph, was forced out by management after he lost an argument over the digital strategy of the paper; hours later, News Corp announced the two-year tenure of Dow Jones CEO Lex Fenwick had ended and he’d be temporarily replaced by Will Lewis.

Lewis is chief creative officer of News Corp, an early hire by News CEO Robert Thomson. In London, Gallagher lost out to The Telegraph‘s chief content officer, Jason Seiken. Lewis will be acting CEO, but he’s considered a good shot at the permanent gig given his extensive digital and journalistic background.

What’s clear is that major print media companies are opting for a digital rather than journalistic background when assessing future leadership roles. Even the successful Financial Times is saying it plans to cut the number of global print editions this year and expand its digital coverage. In Lewis’ case he combines both and, more interestingly, he hasn’t been penalised for leading the two-year clean-up of the mess left in London in the wake of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

In the statement announcing the changes at Dow Jones, the company revealed the reason for the moves — a plan to review Dow Jones’ “institutional strategy”. News Corp CEO Robert Thomson was quoted as saying: “We’re reviewing the institutional strategy of Dow Jones with an eye towards changes that will deliver even more value to its customers. As part of that, we’re planning improvements to DJX. We will also be redoubling our efforts to develop The Wall Street Journal and its digital properties globally, which continue to serve the world’s most influential readers with the most authoritative news and analysis.”

Those comments are similar in tone to ones made after the shock departure of Gallagher at The Telegraph. In a statement, Jason Seiken made that clear when he said: “We must reinvent the way we work and move beyond simply putting news and information online and be an essential part of the audience’s lives. Our competition is no longer only newspapers, and we must innovate to survive.” — Glenn Dyer

Correction of the day. “A long-serving, colourful Sydney mayor and sometime Elvis impersonator has died,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday. But only one of the men pictured, unfortunately, was Pat Reilly …

The man on the left was actually Marrickville major Barry Cotter. The paper has corrected the record today …

Front page of the day. The Ukraine is on fire. Protests continue over the government’s rejection of a planned treaty with the European Union in favour of support from Russia. Kiev-based Den splashed with the fiery photos …

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4 thoughts on “Media briefs: Abbott on HuffPo … newspaper departures …

  1. klewso

    It’s all black and white for Toady – lucky for him, he’s white?

  2. AR

    It was bad enough when he used his “all baddies” insight here but to embarrass us abroad, as is inevitable once he opens his mouth (on any subject) is too toe-curling.
    What i found odd was that there enough people in the audience to applaud his “business” speerch this morning though it did seem more than a little sparse, “like crisp packets blowing down an empty lane”.

  3. Elisabeth Stanger

    No wonder we need a review of the education curriculum, if the best our honorable PM can come up with is “baddies versus baddies” to describe a civil war. What an embarrassment.

  4. klewso

    Abbott = all cowboy and no (white) hat.