Falloon now on board. Here’s an update on Fairfax’s efforts to appoint Nick Falloon to the company board, over a month after the company announced he would be appointed as director and would take over from Roger Corbett in August.
As we reported on Thursday in a story that The Australian seems to think it alone had (sorry guys, other people can read websites and check regulatory registers, too), Falloon’s appointment had embarrassingly fallen foul of the media ownership laws. Fairfax had failed to get the necessary approvals for the media-industry veteran to join a board that at the moment has a temporary approval to breach the limits on radio licence holdings.
Well, now Falloon can finally, officially join Fairfax because on Friday the Australian Communications and Media Authority added him to the temporary breach approval that applies to Fairfax owning, with Macquarie Radio, more than two radio licences in Sydney. — Bernard Keane
Big week for Fox. Quarterly results this week from some of the world’s major media companies — Comcast, Disney, News Corp, 21st Century Fox, CBS, Discovery, Liberty Global, Liberty Media, Liberty Interactive, Scripps Networks, Tribune Media and EW Scripps.
Watch for questions about streaming video, lost subscribers (for cable groups such as Comcast), weak advertising revenues (all companies), the impact of the strong US dollar (Disney, Discovery, Liberty Global, News Corp and 21st Century Fox in particular).
For Australia the performance of News Corp (early Wednesday morning) will be of interest after all the publicity about profit shifting and tax minimisation. As well, the continuing weak performance of its UK papers, and the Amplify online education business will also be areas to be watched in the report. And are the green shoots in the Australian papers any greener?
At 21st Century Fox, watch the performance of Fox TV — the Murdoch clan’s big weak spot in the US. Revenue and profits fell in the first half, and with no Super Bowl (as it had in the March quarter of 2014) and another sag in the ratings for American Idol, Fox TV is going to be a black hole in the March quarter.
In the key 18 to 49 age group (in the live-plus three-days viewing group, which is now emerging as the most reliable figures for US TV audiences), Fox TV suffered a 41% slide in audience figures. 21st Century Fox reports early Thursday morning. — Glenn Dyer
Dead-tree dying — still. Judging by the early reports in the March reporting season, print advertising in the US dead-tree industry continues to vanish, and digital ad growth can’t make up the difference, even though there are some solid reports (from such as The New York Times Co).
It’s more of the same after a miserable 2014, as documented by the Pew Research Centre in its annual look at the health of American media. Some of the high/lowlights from 2014: newspaper circulation dropped 3.3% in the US, the worst in the last four years; total newspaper revenue dropped 4.4% to US$19.9 billion, the ninth straight yearly fall. And print ad revenues fell to US$16.4 billion from US$17.5 billion in 2015.
Digital ad revenues at US$3.5 billion were unchanged from 2013. US newspaper revenue is now one-third of what it was just a decade ago. At 37,000 people, US newspaper staffing levels are at a 34-year low, with female employment the lowest recorded by Pew, at 13,657.
US News magazine circulation fell 2.2% and the all-important single sales (on newsstands) plunged 14%, and ad pages have been cut at least in half at all of the major news magazines since 2001. Newspaper circulations fell 3% in 2014 from 2013. — Glenn Dyer
Front page of the day. Britain’s papers take a break from the election …