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Media Flash - Confidential Weekly E-Newspaper

Media Flash

and Australian Media Job Directory


Monday, July 3, 2000 (Sent Wednesday, July 5, 2000)

Expressed Monday Mornings to more than 6000 Media Decision Makers.

Confidential Weekly E-Newspaper.

Published by Ash Long ... the man with the best media connections in Australia.

Phone/Fax: 1-800 231 311. E-Mail:


Inside 'Media Flash' This Week

* GST: How Australian Papers Dealt With The Changes

* FAIRFAX BOOSTS CUSTOM DIVISION: Age Publisher Steve Harris Expands Influence

* PRESS COUNCIL VACANCY: Peter Costigan's Position - Advertisement

* 3AK WINS NEW FREQUENCY: Melbourne Station To Move To 1116AM

* CRIKEY! E-Mag Releases Subscriber List


Breaking Media News In A Flash


LATE FINAL EXTRA: Monday AM - E-Mailed To Your Desktop

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Fairfax Community Newspapers

Victorian Head Office: 142-144 Frankston-Dandenong Road, Dandenong, 3175.

Phone: (03) 9238 7777. Fax: (03) 9238 7682.

Publishers of: Dandenong Journal, Monash Journal, Knox Journal, Maroondah Journal, Yarra Ranges Journal, Whitehorse Journal, Footscray Mail, Altona-Laverton Mail, Williamstown Advertiser, Brimbank Advocate, Melton Express-Telegraph, Bacchus Marsh Express-Telegraph,Macedon Ranges Telegraph, Sunbury Telegraph, Werribee Banner, House & Land.

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Flash From Ash ...

* ASH LONG, Media Flash Publisher, writes: 'As advised in advance last week, this edition is a tad later than normal. Over the past nine days, my company's Sydney Report and Brisbane Report TV programs have been filming extensively from Melbourne (Vic.) to Port Douglas (Qld). More than 20 client segments were filmed, with 7200 kms motored. Segments included those with DEAN BELLE at Mount Buffalo Chalet (Vic.); and GREG FINDLAY at Sheraton Mirage (it's our fourth invitation to take the TV shows to this great F.N. Queensland resort). So this week's Media Flash tends to have a distinctive Queensland emphasis ... 'eh?'

GST: How The Media Coped

* THE LONGREACH LEADER (Qld) has increased its price from $1.25 to $1.40, making it arguably the highest-priced yet one of the least-interesting local newspapers in Australia.

* KRYSTEN BOOTH, Editor of the 24-page Chinchilla News (Qld), has been more circumspect about price rises with the introduction of GST: 'Following feedback from community groups and readers, it was decided a further increase may decrease sales and reduce the paper's effectiveness in the community.' Her sister paper, The Dalby Herald, follows the same policy. Both papers include the Rural Weekly supplement edited by MILES NOLLER. It has a 58,192 circulation in 11 papers.

* GARY O'TOOLE, General Manager of The Moree Champion (NSW), explained his paper's 10-cent (12.5 per cent) rise from 80 cents: "While The Champion endeavors to keep the cover price as reasonable as possible, recent increases in production costs, for example, paper up by 14 per cent, may require a pricing review in the future.'

* JULIAN CLARKE, MD of The Herald & Weekly Times Ltd, said his company and newsagents had 'slightly reduced our margins in the case of the Sunday Herald Sun to minimise the cost to our readers'. The paper's Editor, ALAN HOWE, noted the GST was 'the first such impost since the newspaper Stamp Duty tax was repealed in Britain on July 1, 1855, in the early decades of QUEEN VICTORIA'S reign.'

* Meanwhile, in county Victoria ... GEOFF HEYES announced the cover price rise of his Alexandra-based Standard from 60 cents to 70 cents. Unfortunately, this front-page announcement appeared on the front-page of his Yea-based newspaper, which has a different identity: The Chronicle.

Harris Expands Influence

* STEVE HARRIS, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Age, is expanding his influence within the John Fairfax Holdings group. Harris has also assumed control of the BRW Media - Custom Publishing ... to be re-named as Fairfax Custom Magazines, and headed by GAYE MURRAY, freshly recruited from Pacific Publications' Home Beautiful, Your Garden and Elle Cuisine. Murray is a former Publishing and Ad Sales Director of ACP Homemaker Magazines. Fairfax CEO FRED HILMER says: 'The change also means Fairfax Business Publications under the leadership of MICHAEL GILL, will be able to focus on building its portfolio of financial publications, which includes those of the Strategic Publishing Group.'

* JAMES STRONG'S Qantas: The Australian Way and The Qantas Club magazines will now come under the control of Harris. So too do Gallery magazine (National Gallery Society of Victoria), and the Australian Institute of Management's Management Today. PAUL RIVA, current GM - Custom Publishing of BRW Media, will soon transfer to The Age to continue to developing strategies in the division.

Fairfax Buys Flier

* JOHN GANNAN'S Frankston-Longbeach Flier and Mornington Flier fortnightly newspaper is being purchased by NEIL COLLYER'S Fairfax Community Newspapers Group. The color tabloid will stay as a fortnightly. 'It wasn't a planned acquisition ... it was acquired through default,' Collyer tells Media Flash. It is believed that the newspaper was sold for a six-figure sum, but this includes retirement of The Flier's indebtedness to FCN for color film work through its Creative Media Services division.

Ten's GST Strategy

* 'DEB AT 10' is an unique column run in The Northern Daily Leader (NSW) by Network 10's Tamworth outpost. Saturday's column saw Deb endear Ten to its viewers who run small businesses: 'GST - Great Start Today. That's how I'm looking at the big GST debate. You can't beat it so you might as well join it ... I've bumped into people in the building trade and they've told me that they're getting out of business - sure there will be a lot of small businesses going by the wayside, but if you are organised and have all your GST information on board, you won't have any problems. So GST be it.' Funny how TV station publicists can sometimes go by the wayside too.

Another New Paper For Diamond Valley

* MARK BURNS is co-ordinating a new community newspaper, Valley Views, due to hit the streets in Nillumbik (Vic.) on Saturday week, July 13. The A4 monthly takes over from the Diamond Creek News, which has just published its farewell edition after 27 years. The DCN has run between 24 pages and 52 pages, and been operated by the Diamond Creek Progress Association. A sub-committee of the not-for-profit organisation has been formed, comprising eight members from the St Helena, Diamond Creek, Hurstbridge, St Andrews corridor, plus the Plenty, Yarrambat, Doreen and Arthurs Creek corridor. Print run is expanded to be 5000 copies, with a full color cover printed by Roda Graphics, who also print the neighboring Mountain Monthly at Kinglake, edited by SUE SCHOLTES, with advertising managed by VICKI MAQUIGNAZ.

* HARTLEY HIGGINS and GEOFF HEYES launched their Nillumbik Mail newspaper from Eltham in May. Last week's issue, the ninth, was its thinnest yet with 20 pages.

* LAURIE RYAN has also marched into the Diamond Valley with his fortnightly Your Gazette, a 24-page color tabloid of up to 25,000 circulation, printed by PETER ANTHONY at Rural Press Ballarat. Ryan, who depicts himself on the front-page with photo and as a 'State, National and International Marketer', had a surprise for Media Flash in his recent issue: Our Media Flash is reproduced in full over two tabloid pages. We seem to have most of his newspaper! It would be nice to be paid ... it would be nice to have the source attributed ... even MEGAN LLOYD of Messenger Newspapers (Media Flash, June 19) wouldn't argue with that!

Press Council Vacancy

* JACK HERMAN, Executive Secretary of the Australian Press Council, writes to Media Flash, noting that (Melbourne Lord Mayor) PETER COSTIGAN'S term as a Journalist Member expires at the end of September. He is deemed to have served three three-year terms and his position is therefore declared: 'But he may apply for re-appointment for a further term ... the Council has asked me to place an ad in various places accessed by journalists calling for nominations for the position.'

Paid Advertisement:

* Applications are invited from interested persons for appointment to the Australian Press Council as a member representing journalists. The Council is concerned with the maintenance of the freedom and responsibility of the press and to that end adjudicates on complaints against the press, and considers matters affecting its freedom. The Constitution of the Council provides that two members shall be appointed to represent the views of journalists. Such members are usually not currently employed full-time by a publisher member of the Council. Further information may be obtained from the office of the Council, Suite 303, 149 Castlereagh Street, Sydney 2000. Telephone (02) 9261 1930 or (1-800) 025 712; fax (02) 9267 6826; e-mail:; or from its website Applications should be addressed to the Executive Secretary, to reach him by 19 July 2000.

Press Council Leaves WAPC

* PROFESSOR DENNIS PEARCE says the Australian Press Council's decision to withdraw from the World Association of Press Councils surrounds it paying 'insufficient attention to fostering press freedom and independent press councils in developing countries and in emerging democracies'. The APC's Press Statement includes interesting sub-text: "The former Chairman of the Australian Press Council, PROFESSOR DAVID FLINT, who was one of the main figures in the foundation of the WAPC, has stayed in association in an individual capacity (as an Associate Member of the WAPC). He remains the Chairman of the association's Executive Council. His continuing role within the association is independent of his previous connection with the Press Council."

GST: 'Great Sucker Tax'

* JIM SMITH, Editor of the Kilmore Free Press (Vic.), didn't mince words on his front-page about his weekly paper's price rise from 40 cents this coming Wednesday: "Due to introduction of the HOWARD/LEES Goods and Services Tax ... the retail price of The Free Press will be 45 cents per copy (including GST). Anyone who feels aggrieved about the Goods and Services Tax being applied to newspapers and magazines from July 1, should make their views known to their local Liberal Party or Australian Democrats member of parliament." Smith's DINGO DAN column calls it the 'Great Sucker Tax'. A surprising tone seeing that this time last year, the so-called Free Press had a cover price of 20 cents, which Smith doubled overnight.

Crikey! E-Mag Publishes Subscriber List

* STEPHEN MAYNE'S web-site today provided an interesting disclosure of a subscriber list in a widespread E-Mail sent by its 'gadget man' CON CHRISTOV. Crikey has languished over recent weeks, with Mayne overseas on a two-month pre-marriage honeymoon. He has promoted the idea as 'community as journalist' in his absence, which is fine as long as the notion of 'journalist as journalist' is not forgotten. There are just 278 names listed as Crikey subscribers. This low number could be regarded as disappointing given the $80,000 investment of business partners earlier this year. Here are the types of people who receive Crikey, according to their self-published list:

*, GBLACK@SPIRIT.COM.AU,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, kcox@SPIRIT.COM.AU,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Klages Scores The 'Gong'

* PETER KLAGES, formerly The Age Director of Operations, has been appointed General Manager, Illawarra Newspapers, publisher of Media Watch's favorite newspaper, The Illawarra Mercury. He replaces PETER NEWELL, who announced his departure after 30 years of service with the Fairfax subsidiary. CEO FRED HILMER said: 'Peter Klages is an outstanding journalist and a superb manager. He is returning to a city and a region where he began his career with new responsibilities and a mandate for continued expansion for our papers. He will be a great success.'

Outback Out-Takes

* TROY CASSAR DALEY has presented his Toyota Outback Club radio program from Nashville over recent weeks.

* SHIRLEY BROUN of The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld) is filing reports for the Central Queensland Edition of Rural Weekly, which now has a 29,700 circulation. Central Queensland News writer KERRY-LEE KADEL, based at Emerald, is part of the Editorial team, as is CAMERON McCROHAN of The Central Telegraph at Biloela.

Australian Indigenous Media

* JOHN HOWARD has awarded his Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships 2000 to the Boggabilla Eurasa Paper Mill, a joint venture between the indigenous Toomelah Co-Operative and New England TAFE Institute. SENATOR HELEN COONAN presented the award.

Queensland Quips

* JOHN COWLEY, CEO of Queensland Newspapers, is using TV ads to promote the paper's expanded Saturday edition. Three new liftouts - Life, BAM and Travel - have started. A Body & Soul tabloid liftout starts in this week's Sunday Mail. THE CAIRNS POST is also employing TV, where a reader promotion offers to pay the winner's rent or mortgage for a year to a maximum of $25,000.

* SUNSHINE COAST DAILY draws a $20,000 reader prize this Wednesday (July 5), pick-a-box style, to celebrate its 20th Birthday. The APN News & Media paper is part of a group including The Sunshine Coast Sunday, Sunshine Coast Weekly, Caboolture News, Nambour Chronicle, Noosa News, Entertainer and Bribie News. MARNIE STITZ is editing the 24-page Noosa Citizen fortnightly. The Daily has been publishing a four-page feature each day, looking at the past 100 years. A limited edition leathercraft-bound copy is on sale for $14.95, noting: 'Our Bundaberg edition sold out within 24 hours.'

* PETER ENGLISH, Editor of Noosa News, included a gloss half-year calendar, sponsored by Bundaberg Rum, in the 19,216-circulation bi-weekly.

Sydney Desk

* KERRY PACKER'S recent letter to the Sydney Morning Herald about an editorial piece on datacasting seems to have had an effect. The paper's web editor, TOM BURTON, had a piece on cyberspace: 'Fresh from his triumph ensuring that Australia has become the laughing stock of the digital television world, SENATOR RICHARD ALSTON now wants to do to the Internet what he is planning to do to datacasting: stuff it.' Burton's article finishes with the disclaimer: 'The author holds equity in John Fairfax Holdings and Telstra. Both are would-be datacasters.'

* FLEUR DOIDGE of Business NSW has just interviewed former 60 Minutes producer ANTHONY McCLELLAN, currently working as a PR consultant for the dairy farmers' anti-deregulation campaign: 'I still consider myself a journalist. But in Australia, many public relations people don't understand our media. That's the value I add to a situation.'

* PETER SMARK'S wake was held during the week at the Bellevue Hotel, Paddington (NSW).

Capital Ideas

* DAVID COX, Publisher of This Month In Canberra & Capital Country, has added full color to the 56-page monthly quarterfold.

West Australian Wire

* BRUCE GORDON, Chairman of WIN-TV, is delighted with his network's 74.3 per cent share in the latest A.C. Nielsen survey results: 'We have been on-air one year and three months and our penetration continues to grow rapidly as we broadcast through two satellites and 60 transmitters.'

Book Department

* MAX MARKSON, of Sydney-based celebrity management Markson Sparks, launches his Show Me The Money book in Melbourne this Wednesday.

* ANDREW DENTON launched MARK COURTNEY'S Moving The Goalposts book at South Sydney Leagues Club. The Triple M breakfast program co-host was pictured with South Sydney Bulletin Publisher ALEX CLULOW on the front page of Alex's tabloid.

* VIVIENNE WINTER, Publishing Manager of Macmillan Education Australia, is seeking a Managing Editor for its 'secondary editorial department'.

* MATTHEW KELLY, of ABC Sydney, is fielding enquiries for the position of Children's Publisher of ABC Books.

Public Relations Watch

* BARRY HYLAND writes of public relations in the June issue of Hospitality: ''A good PR company operates as professionally as any legal practice or doctor's surgery (although it shouldn't inflect as much pain ... physically or financially).'

Your ABC

* SUE HOWARD, new ABC Radio Division chief, probably can't take credit for the first presentation improvement under new CEO JONATHAN SHIER: IAN McNAMARA'S Australia All Over program was off the air on 3LO in Melbourne on Sunday morning for quite a time.

* H.G. NELSON of ABC-JJJ fame with 'ROY SLAVEN', has added SBS-TV to his portfolio, by voicing the Risky Business four-week series co-produced by SUSAN LAMBERT. Roy and H.G. are also signed to host a series for Seven during the Olympics.

Air Waves

* VERN STONE, General Manager at Radio 3AK, has been successful in an application to the Australian Broadcasting Authority, to have the Melbourne station's AM frequency moved from 1503 to 1116. GRETA McMAHON of the Herald Sun reports that two new commercial FM liocences will be offered by the ABA in Melbourne. The 91.5FM licence will be auctioned by the end of this year. Two open narrowcasting services will be available, and community radio licences will be issued for Melbourne City, Bacchus Marsh, Camberwell, Sunbury, Waverley and Werribee.

* JOHN PAUL YOUNG - 'Squweak' of pop star fame - is hosting a syndicated weekend radio program featuring music of the 1970's and 80's. It's called Yesterday Heroes.

* GARY MAC of The Melbourne Radio School ... was that you that we heard on station IDs for 'the locally owned and operated' 4KZ at Innisfail (Qld) 'from Cairns to Cardwell'? JOHN BLACKMAN is also heard with a local ad, as well as the high-selling 'Success Stories' series, one featuring the son of the local florist and funeral director, detailing how the business has grown.

* JOHN BLACKMAN and BRUCE MANSFIELD are resuming the 'Story Time' segment on 3AK, that was a hit 15 years ago at 3AW. Mansfield has to resurrect the UNCLE ROY character that he killed off many years ago. Blackman joked to listeners that the pair would have to do the segment from different studios: 'We're not that close.'

Community Radio

* RHEMA FM CANBERRA is due to start on July 15, founded by WARREN and SUZANNE ROUT. Two of the foundation team, COLIN and JEAN SIMPSON, are now on their way to the UK to look for new opportunities in Christian broadcasting.

* COL FRENCH, Program Co-Ordinator at Coral Coast Radio 94.7FM, is boosting the volunteer team at the 6am-10pm station, according to JOHN EVANS' Bundaberg Bugle fortnightly.

TV Guide

* TONY WHITING'S Border Mail has carried an ad from SENATOR RICHARD ALSTON'S Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts about the newly-funded Television Black Spots Program. Some $35 million has been allocated to assist communities fix up to 250 'black spot' reception areas. The money comes from the second partial sale of Telstra. The Government contributes up to $25,000 to fund the capital cost of re-transmitting.

* IAN MULLER, Brisbane Channel 9 News boss, is tipped to call it quits, according to PETER CAMERON of The Sunday Mail.

So, This Is Showbiz

* SUE McINTOSH, former ABC Melbourne weekend news-reader, and mother of JASON DONOVAN, hit the headlines as the hedge at her Martin Street, Brighton (Vic.) home was torched by an arsonist.

* JOHN-MICHAEL HOWSON has been white-water rafting in New Mexico, he breathlessly told JOHN LAWS on 2UE, on Friday morning.

* CHRISTOPHER SKASE has been interviewed on Foxtel by JOHN LAWS. Someone said Laws looked more ill than Skase!

* EDDIE McGUIRE and wife CARLA are expecting their first child on Christmas Day. McGuire announced the pregnancy on The Footy Show on GTV-9 last Thursday night. The same show announced the outbreak of legionella at the Collingwood Football Club spa, at which McGuire is Club President.

* ERIC BANA is playing criminal MARK 'CHOPPER' READ in the film, Chopper.

* PAULA DUNCAN is fronting ads for HomeWorld display village (Sydney).

Australian Media Job Directory

* SEE our Employment Section at the bottom of the page..

Big Names Dept.

* JOHN 'SAM' NEWMAN phoned in as 'John of Brighton' to 3AW sports show at the weekend. Fine ... except he's contracted to football competitor Triple M.

Smaller Names Dept.

* DAVE NICHOLSON hits the Brisbane airwaves this week as 96five's new Drive announcer, announces GREG PRETTY of Squawk radio newsletter.

* HANS TORV of 2WS was at JAMES MURDOCH'S wedding with KATHRYN HUFSCHMID. Torv is uncle of the young Murdochs, brother of ANNA TORV - who was MRS RUPERT MURODCH No. 2.

Movers And Shakers

* ROB MOREY joins Time Inc as Circulation Director.

* KAREN BEST has been appointed It Support Manager at The Age. CHRIS DYSON becomes Help Desk Manager.

* ALISON McNAUGHT, Marketing Services Assistant at Leader Newspapers (Vic.), left the Melbourne suburban chain on Friday.

* CHRISTINE CONLAN has finished at the Communications Law Centre, Sydney.

Odds and Ends

* DAVID JONES retail stores have bought The Spot online site from John Fairfax Holdings. F2 CEO NIGEL DEWS says: 'f2's share of the writedown of the investment in The Spot is expected to be in the order of $4 million and will be taken into account as an abnormal item in the current financial year.'

* RON TANDBERG'S cartoons feature on an Age 'supertram' running on the Malvern (Vic.) line in July, August and September. KRISTEN BOSCHMA says: 'Inside the tram, all of the interior panels are filled with snippets of articles from some of the paper's most respected journalists.'

* FEL BEVACQUA, MD of Domino's Pizza Australia, took a junior full-page in The Sunday Mail (Qld), to say the Federation of Australian Television Stations has withdrawn its approval for rival Pizza Hut ads that claim '30 per cent more cheese' and '80 per cent more meat'.

* ITA BUTTROSE has accepted the invitation to be Woolworths GST Customer Advocate, says CEO ROGER CORBETT.

Court Report

* ALAN JONES, 2UE breakfast buddy, defamed Aboriginal leader PAT DODSON, a jury found on Thursday. As is the NSW procedure, the case now goes before a Judge to hear defences, and what damages should be awarded.

Press Council Adjudications

* DR PETER SHERGOLD'S complaint against the Sydney Morning Herald has been partly upheld by the Australian Press Council. Dr Shergold, Secretary of the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business complained about a series of articles dealing with the 1999 Employment Services Tender.

* GEOFF CLARK, Chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, had his complaint against The Australian dismissed: 'The Press Council is unable to view this article as anything other than normal reportage about a man suddenly of national importance. It does not find the article to be unbalanced or unfair.'

* ALICE BEAUCHAMP complained about comments by The Village Observer Publisher-Editor IAN LONGBOTTOM, in an article headlined 'Election Aftermath'. Longbottom, a local Councillor, held over a number of letters until after a local government election. 'The Council is satisfied that, in the context of a monthly newspaper and in the light of the explanation provided by the editor for holding the letters over to the December edition, the newspaper cannot be said to have acted unreasonably.'

* THE SUNDAY AGE has upheld in part a complaint relating to a review of the Sassi Bistro-Bar restaurant in Port Melbourne: 'In this case the Council considers that the reviewer did not disclose to readers of the review all matters relevant to the circumstances that led to the adverse comments. To this extent the complaint is upheld.'

The Local Report

* RIKK DONLEN, Manager of the Albury-Wodonga's Border Mail rural supplement, Country Mail, advises that the insert changes to Friday publication from this week. It coincides with JOHN B. FAIRFAX'S launch of the Friday 'contemporary farm and lifestyle' monthly magazine in his newspapers, under Publisher IAN THOMSON.

* BERNIE and JENNY GRECH have expanded the distribution of their Millstream Times A4 weekly with agencies in Atherton, Ravenshoe, Innot Hot Springs, Mt Garnet, Wondecia, Herberton, Tolga and Millaa Millaa (Qld).

* CHRIS McPHERSON'S Southern Riverina News at Tocumwal-Finley (Vic.-NSW) this week included a 36-page A4 Local Telephone Directory. The O'REILLY FAMILY'S APN News & Media Group is doing likewise with its latest project: Towntalk Directories, and a namesake Internet site. It involves 'development of new and existing local telephone directories in conjunction with your local newspaper'.

* PAUL THOMAS, Publisher of South-East Newspapers (Vic.), has started to cross-promote his paid Pakenham-Berwick Gazette in his free 54,821 Berwick-Cranbourne News. The 90-year-old Gazette now includes a full-color Indulge magazine. Meanwhile, his 140,000-circulation North-West Real Estate News hit a low of 28 pages, and his South-Eastern Real Estate News was down to 44 pages, because of the pre-GST property advertising downturn.

Absent Friends

* JUDITH WRIGHT, Australian poet, died this past week at the age of 85. ROMANA KOVAL last night replayed a recent interview on ABC Radio National.

Glass House Dept.

* HEIDI MURPHY'S 4CC news bulletin at 1pm Saturday had a familiar ring to it. She spoke of the backpacker tragedy at Childers (Qld), swimmer SUSIE O'NEILL'S race in Canberra, and the latest on GEORGE SPEIGHT'S hostages in Fiji. The 'fresh' news bulletin was a tape from the previous week.

* 'HAROLD', 3SH's outside broadcast man, reported on McHappy Day in Swan Hill with an in-store interview that contained this gem with a McDonald's staffer: 'What's your first name KAREN?'

* ROBERT LONG (no relation) received blitz coverage in The Courier-Mail as a suspect for the Childers backpackers lodge fire. The Australian had an unfortunate juxtaposition of a promotion on Thursday: 'The Torch In Queensland', above the story headlined 'Manhunt ends with hostel fire suspect shot'.

* PORT DOUGLAS & MOSSMAN GAZETTE has blunt headlines: 'Court relieves man for peeing'.

* FAIRFAX RESEARCH closed on June 30 ... yet calls-on-hold messages at The Age urge callers to do business with the division.

* 12 455: Telstra's ads with the new Directory Assistance number written/tattooed on a hand is tipped to rile a few Jewish groups.

Olympic Countdown

* BERT NEWTON'S Good Morning Australia, produced on Network 10 by LEANNE MERCER, may be off the air throughout the Olympics, to be replaced by Cheez TV. Network bean counters are keen to control production costs after CEO JOHN McALPINE had to announce reduced third quarter earnings because of higher production costs. Producers are looking to perhaps cut some 'FOBs' (Friends of Bert) who appear at $300 a time on GMA. Other networks are unlikely to put super-pitch programs against KERRY STOKES' coverage of the Games through Seven.

Writers' Block

* ERIC BEECHER has named Text Media Group Creative Director CHONG WENG HO and Art Director DEBORAH PITMAN in a new-look Melbourne Weekly Magazine launched this week: 'We're changing our look and we're sharpening the focus of our journalism." The 110,000-circulation mag is edited by NEIL SPARK, under the General Managership of ANTHONY McDONALD. This week's edition was again 72 pages.

Members' Mailbag

* ROSS MAY of Custom Media joins the Media Flash throng. So too do CHRISTINE JACKMAN, New York correspondent for News Ltd Australia; KYLIE AHERN, Publisher, Yaffa Publishing; MICHAEL TAFT at the ABC; GEORGE KRANITIS at George K; FIONA McGILL at PPR; ABRAMO IERARDO at AML; MELISSA DONNELLY at Howorth; BRETT KENWORTHY at Fairfax; JOHN WILHELM at Nicholson Media; DARON JACKS, Assistant Editor at Auto Action; PAUL FRASER at Cumberland Newspapers; freelance journalist SALLY MORRELL; FRANCIS LEE at Leader Newspapers.

* Also new on the list are HANNAH STEELE, MARGIE COOK, ERIC SHACKLE, NIKI VOUNORIDIS, DAN OAKES, freelance journalist MICHELLE HAMS; DAVID HIGGINS, Technology Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald; JANE ROCCA at CitySearch; MICHAEL RYAN at Hyro; JOHN WILLIAMS at Aladdin; PAUL ROVERE at The Age; MELANIE PITCHER.

Editor's E-Mail

* DAVID LANGSAM writes: "Dear Ash, I'd just like to put it on the record as both a full-time (non-MURDOCH) freelance journalist and part-time lecturer in journalism (Central Queensland University, Melbourne International Campus) that your Media Flash is both informative and educational. Congratulations on creating an online media magazine that fills the uneconomic hole in the print media. As I'm sure you are aware, the United Kingdom has two weekly media magazines as well as media sections in the major broadsheet newspapers. While the Wednesday Australian deserves credit (despite being owned by Murdoch) for its attempt to perform that function, I think your on-line Media Flash is the one to watch. "Venceremos, comrade" as we used to say in the Farrago world of IMRE SALUSINSZKY!"

* ASH LONG replies: "For the record, I never ever said Venceremos." As Media Flash subscribers would attest, I would never use such big words. By the way, what does it mean?"

Fan Mail

* SIMON GOULD, of Riddell Exhibitions, writes: 'I have been sent a recent copy of Media Flash and I would like to take advantage of your free subscription offer. Many thanks and congratulations on a great product.'

* TAMMY HOCKING writes: 'I'd like to subscribe to Media Flash. I work at Community News newspaper and am also trying to break into the animation industry.'

* VICTORIA COLLINS, Public Affairs & Development, University of New South Wales: 'Hi, I love your news letter. Can you please e-mail it to me. I want to subscribe!'

Flash Points

* ONE Melbourne afternoon radio presenter signs off with the WILLIE NELSON number of Please Don't Talk About Me When I've Gone. Unfortunately, with a rating of a fast 0.4, no-one is talking about him when he's there!

* GORDON WOOLF of Format Newsletter advises that ASHLEY WEBB is marketing the EzyPublish computer program 'which bridges the gap between advertisement booking, copy entry and output to a page layout program'. Webb publishes Coast To Coast property publication, and the software has been developed by young programmer JAMES TYDEMAN.

* BRIAN McCARTHY'S Mailbox Shopper includes the 12-page Property Guide which also appears in the Friday edition of The Daily Liberal (Dubbo, NSW). It contains a surprisingly frank 'house' ad promoting the free-paid combination: 'After all, not everyone reads a letterboxed publication'.

Jest A Moment

* WARWICK BARRACLOUGH from Highway One, sends this to Media Flash: 'MILTON TREEWHISTLE, inventor of the speak-your-weight lavatory seat (before and after) and the automatic national anthem musical toilet paper dispenser has filed patent applications for a new bathroom invention - the wee-glo urinal. Advertisers can now have logos and messages in urinals which remain invisible until moistened, when they appear in a range of teeth-grinding colours. Beer, fast foods, shoe polish and Viagra are among the commodities first in with this timely new medium. One popular message in hotels is "Please adjust your dress before leaving, you old queen." Treewhistle is in discussions with the Police Department to develop a wee-glo version which indicates the patron's level of intoxication. Above .08 it displays the warning: If you can read this you're pissed again. Asked about his concentration on the toilet market, Treewhistle comments darkly: "It's a saturation market. Do you know anyone who doesn't go to the dunny?" He is widely credited with inventing the hands-free mobile phone, which nearly sent him blind."

Stix and Stones

* STEVE STICKNEY, Editor at The Manly Daily, returns to Media Flash next Monday. Our fault, not his, that this week's column doesn't appear.

Long Shots

* ROD REHBEIN, Editor of The News-Mail (Bundaberg, Qld), signs his editorial leaders. So too does JOHN SCHALCH, Editor of The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld). It is a good idea, accountable to readers, and away from the 'fairyland' notion that leaders are 'collegiate' pieces ... when, in fact, there are as many opinions as people in newsroom conferences.

* TEN NEWS is sponsoring the Weather Page in the Sunshine Coast Daily. Watch other TV news programs quickly follow the practice in other dailies around the country.

Credit Where It's Due

* MEDIA FLASH receives various services partly in exchange for promotion in Ash Long Media products. Over the past week this includes accommodation organised by: BRONWIN BRIDGES and MAGGIE DOWSETT at the Windsor International, Brisbane; BRETT MITCHELL POINTON at Ivory Palms Resort, Noosaville; PETER and GRACE COMINO at City-Ville Apartments, Rockhampton; The Rocks Guest B&B, Townsville; and STUART MUNRO at the Sheridan Plaza Hotel, Cairns.

Bottom Line

* ONE January sees digital TV start in Australia after last week's deal where ther ABC and SBS win extra channels, not allowed to show sport, comedy, drama or national news.

* 40 PAGES - not the usual 100 PAGES - was the size of last week's Melbourne Weekly property section, prior to GST day. Publisher ANTHONY McDONALD usually sends a 140-page book to MICHAEL HANNAN'S Hannanprint plant at Noble Park (Vic.). The June 25- July 1 issue totalled 72 pages, with a cover story on The Big Issue magazine, edited by SIMON CASTLES.

* 100 PAGES: size of the Melbourne International Film Festival Guide insert in The Age today.

* $70,000 is offered by The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald for a Human Resources Consultant.

* $250,000 is the amount offered to a woman to kidnap CHRISTOPHER SKASE, face-lifted PIXIE told Woman's Day this past week. The 59-year-old, speaking from her Spanish villa, said she thought the Australian Government would prefer her husband dead: 'He knows too much."

Last Word

* MARIE-LOUISE THEILE'S Channel 10 newsreading gaffe, telling co-host GEOFF MULLINS on air that her husband DR DAVID THIELE was an 'arsehole' deserves to go on record.

* TERRY SWEETMAN, Courier-Mail columnist, says his former Sun colleague - 'a comely lass from noble stock and the product of impeccable training ... wouldn't have said sugar for sixpence'.

P.S. -

* MARIE-LOUISE THIELE'S gaffe was witnessed by 163,000 viewers, according to LISA YALLAMAS of The Courier-Mail. Next night's audience was 193,000 - up 30,000.

Australian Media Job Directory

* SEE our Employment Section at the bottom of the page.

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Editors - head for the Olympic City in July

The Annual Conference of the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (PANPA) in Sydney on July 18-20 will launch the PANPA Editors' Forum with high quality speakers on compelling subjects in a special new editorial strand to complement the parallel marketing and technical programs. Check it out at or e-mail The attractions for editors include the third conference day, Marketing to Consumers with a group of high level newspaper marketing people from the UK, USA and Brazil. The first day plenary session features ZIGGY SWITKOWSKI, CEO of continuing news-maker Telstra, ROGER PARKINSON, CEO of the Toronto, Canada Globe and Mail and President of the World Association of Newspapers and US newspaper 'net guru MELINDA GIPSON. PANTECH, the PANPA Newspaper Technology Expo, will showcase the latest technologies available for newspaper production and operations over the three days. Another innovation at the 2000 PANPA Conference is the inaugural PANPA Newspaper of the Year Award which will recognise newspapers' interaction with their communities. A high-tech sculpture has been created for the winner in each of six categories designed to allow newspapers of all frequencies and sizes to compete with their peers.

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* An experienced, self reliant business journalist capable of reporting on a diverse range of small business news and feature stories is needed for our small, hard working team. TV production and writing skills are essential, as are a proven background in current affairs and finance reporting. Please forward written application to: ANN BUCHNER, Supervising Producer, The Small Business Show, PO Box 27, Willoughby, NSW 2068. E-mail: Applications close July 14.

Senior Appointments

* MATTHEW GRIBBLE at Michael Page International seeks a Chief Financial Officer for Village Ten Online, reporting to the CEO.

* PAUL JURY, at the Melbourne office of Morgan & Banks, seeks a Chief Operating Officer (MD Elect) for an emerging sports infotainment and media business, ready to expand into Internet, WAP and digital TV business.

* PETER GRAHAM, Director, Group Operations, Fairfax (NSW), is taking applications until July 12 for a Human Resources Director, reporting directly to CEO FRED HILMER.

* MELISSA TRETHOWAN at Feder Consulting Services has been retained by The Age to find the newspaper's HR Business Manager - Editorial.

* CARA DENGATE at AAP MediaNet is appointing a Sales Executive to look after Victoria and Western Australia. But hurry, applications close at the Sydney office on Wednesday, July 12.


* CINEMEDIA is appointing a Facilities and Operations Manager to run the Victorian business which assists development, production and exhibition of film, television and new media.

* MELANIE STEEL, at Chartered Secretaries, is taking applications until Friday for an Editor to produce The Australian Company Secretary.

* FR JOE JACOBI, Publisher of Winning Post racing newspaper, is seeking an 'Advertising Sales Rep' for the Victorian-based form guide edited by TONY KNEEBONE.

* GREG VIDEON, at APN News & Media, requires a part-time journo for Manufacturers' Monthly.

* THE LANYON FAMILY'S Sunraysia Daily at Mildura is advertising for an all-round journalist.

More Jobs

* ANNIE SQUIRES, Features - Editorial Co-Ordinator at The Shepparton News (Vic.), is hiring a Features Writer (Casual Hours).

* MALCOLM McDONALD at Macarthur Advertiser (NSW) seeks a 'Casual Inputter' for the Fairfax Community Newspapers, with proof-reading duties. First job might be with the word 'inputter'.

* APEX PUBLISHING, in the Sultanate of Oman, seeks a Sub-Editor for books and directories.

* BRIDIE O'CONNOR, Regional Classifieds Manager, wants a Sales Consultant for the Rockhampton-based Morning Bulletin.

* JOHN CAMERON, at The Times (Kingaroy, Qld), is hiring a Paginator, for the five non-dailies that are printed on site in the South Burnett.

Even More Jobs

* SHARON DAVIS advertises for a Internet Layout Advisor for

* SALLY CRENNAN, HR Admin. Manager at Fairfax Business Publications, notifies of a vacancy for a Circulation Sales Co-Ordinator, to be based in Sydney or Melbourne. Similar positions are available in each of Brisbane and Perth. She also seeks a Graphic Artist for CFO Australia and MIS Australia magazines. A Trainee Graphic Artist's position is available at The Australian Financial Review.

* JOHN MILLICAN at the Fairfax 'Sold' site is looking for a Customer Relationship and Service Manager.

* SARAJANE WHEATON is on the search for a Receptionist for the f2 Fairfax Interactive Network. REBECCA POULTON is hiring a Webmaster for f2, as well as a Senior Unix Administrator. A position is also available for a Network Administrator, plus a Senior Applications Support person.

And Just Finally ...

* PETER TRICKLEBANK, film-maker, is bringing back Sydney's Daily Mirror for his Murder By Diva pilot, which shows how police and a Mirror reporter unmask the killer of an American killer. He intends to use Mirror storylines for the seriesm telling PETER HOLDER and JO CASAMENTO of The Daily Telegraph's 'Sydney Confidential': 'There's no way you can run out of material.'

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