May’s media ties. Britain’s next prime minister is famous in Westminster for not cultivating ties with the country’s media elite, as this Politico piece from a few days back reveals.

“It goes against conventional Westminster thinking, but [Theresa] May’s lack of close ties to the media elite is actually an asset at a time when the public is fed up with the London establishment, MPs who support her bid for the Conservative leadership said …

“In stark contrast to others who have aspired to the highest office in British politics in recent years — Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove — she has given little effort to building alliances in the press.

“Some of her colleagues have spent countless hours briefing friendly columnists, socializing with editors, trading gossip over lunch with proprietors. Blair became godfather to one of Murdoch’s children. Cameron had country suppers with Rebekah Brooks, the chief of Murdoch’s News UK. Johnson holidayed in Italy with Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev. Gove spent weekends with the Daily Mail’s owner Lord Rothermere.

“For May, courting the media has simply not been a priority.”

Despite a lack of deep links with the media class, May secured the support of the Daily Mail‘s influential editor Paul Dacre. He’s described in the piece as a “huge admirer” of hers. — Myriam Robin

Trudeau-hating Canadian media group needs his help. Over in Canada, the Trudeau government is considering ways to give state aid to Canada’s largest publisher, Postmedia Network, which is staggering under too much debt, and its shares are all but worthless.

Ongoing discussions are being held with media groups via an independent facilitator to try to get some sort of consensus on financial and other aid for the sector (which already benefits from tax preference given to Canadian advertisers spending money with Canadian publishers and other media).

But Postmedia is the black hole everyone wants to stop happening — it has just reported its 14th successive quarterly loss as revenues plunged 13% in the three months to May as print ad spending continues to plummet. The company’s future remains problematic, even after its latest attempt (and what will probably be the last) to ease its financial pressures.

Postmedia is planning a radical restructuring plan aimed at halving its debt and cutting its interest bill, but in doing so, it will wipe out 98% of the already tiny value left for shareholders in the company (the shares were trading at just 1.5 cents Canadian before the results and restructure was announced; they doubled to 3 cents in the aftermath, and then fell back to 1.5 cents and closed overnight at 1 cent).

There’s a delicious irony here; under CEO Paul Godfrey, Postmedia was a strong supporter of the previous conservative Canadian government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper (who was a soul mate of Tony Abbott). The group and its papers strongly opposed Justin Trudeau in Canada’s election campaign last year (much the way the Murdoch tabloids and The Australian opposed the ALP and Bill Shorten in our recent federal poll). Now the company’s fate depends on the Trudeau government coming up with some sort of aid package for it and others in the country’s ailing media sector. — Glenn Dyer

Antipode represent. BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) made a modest contribution to the overall results of BBC Worldwide, the UK broadcaster’s global production, distribution and marketing arm.

The company said the Australasian business reported a 5.3% increase in headline sales in local currency (the figure and the conversion rates were not given), while in sterling, the contribution was 78.1 million pounds, down from 81.9 million in 2014-15 (because of the stronger pound for the year). This made a small contribution to the global sales figure of 1.029 billion pounds. Australasian headline earnings (whatever they are) were 19.2 million pounds, up from 16.3 million a year ago. Globally, BBC Worldwide made a profit of 133.8 million pounds and returned 222.2 million to the BBC. — Glenn Dyer

Front page of the day. China Daily and the Global Times convey the Chinese regime’s utter rejection of of The Hague’s ruling …



Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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