Gee, aren’t they a clever lot behind the merger of Fairfax and Nine (with their cheer squads in the Financial Review, SMH and Age): ignoring history and attempting to recreate the old debt-ridden Fairfax empire, before Warwick Fairfax, his mother and a team of incompetent advisers blew it apart in the '80s.

Warwick’s adventure at the helm of the company ended in disgrace and financial disaster, exploited in part by the ambitions of a then-Sydney lawyer, Malcolm Turnbull. What has changed at Fairfax since the '80s to make it any more valuable? The board and managers, led by departing CEO Greg Hywood have cut and cut and taken their bonuses and millions of dollars in options and shares and left nothing.