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Media Flash - April 30, 2001

Media Flash - April 30, 2001

Media Flash and Australian Media Job Directory

Australia's Media Independent E-Newspaper - Updated Continuously

Last Updated: Monday, April 30, 2001

For full graphics, click on at http://www.mediaflash.com.au

E-Mail: mediaflash@yahoo.com

Phone: 1-800 231 311. Fax: 1-800 231 312.

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BREAKING NEWS

Harris Print Chief 'Axed'

* PETER DWYER, Editor of The Advocate (Burnie, Tas.), did not publish the same article as REX GARDNER'S Hobart-based Mercury on Saturday: 'Advocate Chief Shown The Door. The owners of The Advocate and part-owners of The Examiner newspaper have axed their chief executive officer. Last Thursday Harris and Company abolished the position formerly held by PAUL HARRIS and created two new positions, Advocate general manager and corporate affairs general manager. Harris chairman ROGER MARTIN said it was a management reconstruction decision and not a reflection on MR HARRIS. 'The board records its appreciation for MR HARRIS'S contribution to the group during his many years of service,' MR MARTIN said, stressing that MR HARRIS left on amicable terms. MR HARRIS, a major shareholder with Harris and Company, said yesterday he was 'relaxing at home' and did not want to comment.'

Littlemore Sues Skalkos

* STUART LITTLEMORE ($4500 a day) is suing Sydney newspaper publisher THEO SKLAKOS, claiming almost $300,000 in fees for a Supreme Court cas he lost. MONICA VIDENEKS of The Australian says SKALKOS replies that LITTLEMORE agreed to cap his fees, after already receiving more than $100,000. SKALKOS, owner of Foreign Language Publications, is said to have paid $280,000 in legal fees to LITTLEMORE over a 10-year period. SKALKOS is currently fighting an appeal in regard to a defamation action brought by advertising agent JOSEPH ASSAF. SKALKOS was ordered to pay more than $800,000 in costs. The appeal continues.

* DISCLOSURE: Media Flash Publisher ASH LONG was a client of THEO SKALKOS' S & G Rotary Printery, Melbourne, 1983-86.

'Little More Than Fiction'

* RON BRUNTON, writing in Saturday's Courier-Maili, says that ABC-TV presenter STUART LITTLEMORE told 'some whoppers' about the Institute of Public Affairs: 'For instance, he claimed the media boss RUPERT MURDOCH and News Limited are major backers of the IPA, and tried to insinuate that the IPA is therefore a mouth-piece of commercial media interests hostile to a publicly funded broadcaster. But, as LITTLEMORE'S researchers, ROBERT HODSON and SALLY VIRGO were told on a number of occasions, neither MURDOCH, nor any member of his family, nor News Limited, is associated with the IPA as a financial supporter or board member. In the past, the IPA did receive some funding from News Limited, but this ceased three years ago.'

PMP Shares Hit Record Low

* JOHN B. FAIRFAX, Rural Press chief, and MICHAEL HANNAN, IPMG boss, will see if they can win the backing of the PROFESSOR ALLAN FELS' Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, through concessions to their original $630 million merger plan between IPMG and PMP. The latter company's shares slumped to a record low (85 cents) on Friday after the ACCC blocked the deal, saying it could possibly breach the Trade Practices Act. DEIDRE STARK of Queensland's Courier-Mail said the PMP shares 'collapsed'. Shares were about $2, some 12 months ago.

* 'The merger of PMP and IPMG would give them more than 75 per cent of this market, worth in excess of $1.5 billion per annum,' PROF. FELS said. 'The proposed merger raises significant concerns as to the ability of independent magazine publishers to secure competitive distribution.'

* KERRY and JAMES PACKER'S Australian Consolidated Press, JOHN FAIRFAX PUBLICATIONS and RUPERT MURDOCH'S News Limited, were amongst those companies which are understood to have complained to the ACCC about the proposal which includes 33 PMP titles including TV Week, That's Life and New Idea.

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COMMENT

An Arrogance Of Press Secretaries

* STEPHEN MAYNE, Crikey Publisher, was stupidly banned from Victorian Premier STEVE BRACKS' media conference with Treasurer JOHN BRUMBY on Thursday. MAYNE is a former Press Secretary to Liberal Premier JEFF KENNETT; and turned on his boss with the jeffed.com site prior to the last Victorian state election.

* BRACKS' media advisor, SHARON McCROHAN, banned MAYNE from attending because he was not 'accredited'. McCROHAN has received an avalanche of e-mails against the ban, from subscribers to the Crikey web-site.

* However, MAYNE made a damning admission of a similar action - in a column carried by The Australian on Friday: 'I was the JEFF KENNETT press secretary in 1993 who personally told then 7.30 Report host MARY DELAHUNTY, now the Education Minister in the BRACKS government, that all KENNETT ministers would be banned from appearing on her show. The ban remained in place for the next six years ...' MAYNE and KENNETT were wrong - as servants of the public - to maintain such a ban.

* MISHA SCHUBERT of The Oz quotes MAYNE to say his exclusion was 'probably petty payback for his publication of the names of business figures who attended a $1000-a-head Labor fundraiser 16 months ago'. MAYNE: 'JOHN BRUMBY told my wife I 'should have been charged with theft' for embarrassing the Government'.

* MEDIA FLASH COMMENT: Media black-bans always, always backfire. My first experience was in the 1970's on a micro-level when Melbourne's Preston Council banned Leader Newspapers' Preston Post journalists from attending Council meetings. The newspaper responded by sending a member of the public, car dealer JACK CAMPBELL - complete with notebook on knee - to report the municipal affairs. The Council was publicly ridiculed.

* MARIE TEHAN, Kennett Government Health Minister, black banned my Advertiser newspapers from receiving her news releases, after we (correctly) reported that she was moving offices from one part of the Seymour electorate to another. TEHAN froze a large part of her constituents from receiving her news; she thought she was hurting my company. Instead, the Liberals lost the seat at the next election.

* McCROHAN & CO. are playing unnecessary games that will only do damage to the BRACKS Government. KENNETT'S government was voted out of office because of a perceived arrogance. By selectively banning members of the media, BRACKS - already nicknamed 'JEFF' - is already travelling down the same foolish path. We hold no torch for MAYNE; he has defamed us more than once, and has unfairly published incorrect material which he has failed to correct. However, wrong or not, no journalist should be banned by a people's government.

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More Spin Arrogance - Part 2

* FELIX GANDER'S Cranbourne Independent has a local politics column called 'The Snout' which notes there are four PR spin doctors at Greater Dandenong City Council, and another two at the City of Casey, where press can now join Councillors and staff at the pre-Council dinner. 'A memo was sent out to papers saying that any member of the press must have the EXPRESS consent of councillors and staff to report on anything said at these dinners, and then it had to be approved by the public relations minders. Failure to do so will mean banishment from the banquet, said the edict. Furthermore, the memo went on: anything relating to Casey Council matters had to go through public relations.

* 'THE SNOUT' - in the paper edited by TONY MURRELL, and largely written by AMBER BANKS - commented: 'Do these public relations spin doctors and Casey management - who give the orders for the memo to be sent out - really think they are running the place? They are trying to manipulate the media. Imagine trying that caper with the Canberra or Spring St press galleries,' said the April 18 column. 'Of course I won't be going to the banquets, because I don't go to the meetings anyway, but even if I did I'd boycott the nosh-ups. And so should everyone else.'

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'New Technology' For Fairfax?

* FRED HILMER, CEO of John Fairfax, is keen to put his stamp on the group entering fields of new technology and innovative product. The company's f2 operations are soaking losses of about $40 million a year, and the disastrous Melbourne Express free commuter tabloid is likely to cost another $4 million. Here's some answers ...

* RUPERT MURDOCH is quoted to say that the secret to gambling is to know when to stop. HILMER find not find this in one of his text books on management strategy, but the best thing he could do for shareholders' funds is to close The Express this coming month. The tabloid has sneaked back to 28 pages, and has a disastrous ad schedule. Last Monday's edition carried a (Fairfax) City Search full-page, a (Fairfax) Drive.com.au ad, a Metcard ad, a quarter-page 'house' ad, and less than one page of paid ads. Not even an ad for The Age ... which would benefit even if it picked up 2000 casual sales every day.

* MERILYN WHARTON, Publisher of the paper, saw Tuesday's edition with quarter-page ads for Fone Zone and TMP.Worldwide, plus the fillers mentioned above (except this time it was a full-page for mycareer.com.au and another full-page for The Express.) It's time to just face facts, realise that The Herald & Weekly Times Ltd's MX isn't hurting the franchise of The Age; and that the only operation hurting Fairfax's business is the new Fairfax product.

* ARTHUR SULZBERGER JNR, CEO at The New York Times, can also teach a lesson to boffin HILMER, who is driven to make f2 work. Lateral thinking has seen the NYT boss look to promote his paper not just on the net, but the 'new' technology of television. SULZBERGER has been planning an 11pm TV newscast in conjunction with MacNEIL-LEHRER ... but has held back because he needed to raise $US12 million for the project. The TV program will go ahead to promote the paper's reporters and editors, but SULZ is showing the type of financial responsibility that might also be appreciated downunder.

* MARKETING TIP: British Petroleum look like the probable sponsor for The New York Times TV newscast. The Aussie Fairfax sales team might like to follow the same lead!

* POSTSCRIPT: RUPERT MURDOCH is racing ahead with TV shows for his newspaper sections. Body & Soul, the section that accompanies The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, and The Courier-Mail in Brisbane, seems set to soon generate its own TV series on the Nine Network, according to HARVEY SHORE.

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Media Ethics

* ERICA CERVINI, Journalism Lecturer at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, is organising a session soon about the role that advertising plays in journalism. One question that might be assessed by the students is the role of 'puff' in newspapers and their advertising features. At The Australian Jewish News - Melbourne Edition, a number of people appear in the 'skite box' as senior editorial leaders: DEBORAH STONE, Editor; DAN GOLDBERG, Deputy Editor; ROXANNE DUNKEL, Publisher; SAM LIPSKI, Editorial Chairman, and so on. They have placed a quarter-page ad in their latest edition to explain 'real estate editorials': 'Editorial coverage of properties featured in Property Review Weekly is separate from and independent of any advertising or marketing activities by agents or vendors. No charge is made for such coverage ... the final decision on publication rests solely with the Property Editor who is acting within the editorial guidelines of the paper. All submissions will be considered but no undertaking whatsoever can be given because of the many factors that may affect the production process.'

Mr Rob Chalmers

* WE WERE WRONG. ROB CHALMERS, despite having recently celebrated a record 50th year in the Canberra Press Gallery, has not retired and continues as Editor of the national newsletter, Inside Canberra.

* EDITOR NOTES: Our March 12 reference came about when he quoted (and attributed) ALEX MITCHELL and CANDACE SUTTON'S 'Naked City' column in the Sun-Herald.

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Fairfax Community Newspapers

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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, Community News - Moonee Valley, Community News - Moreland, The Flier, House & Land, New Homes & Land

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Sydney Siders

* FAIRFIELD ADVANCE suburban newspaper held a 'Meet The Editor Party' this month at the Cabra Vale Diggers Club.

* THE CHASER satirical publication is producing a funny Austrralian Financial Review 'Tenuously-Linked Photo Competition'. Well done Chaser honchos DOMINIC KNIGHT, JULIAN MORROW, CHARLES FIRTH and CRAIG REUCASSEL.

* THE ENGADINE DISTRICT NEWS carries a 'house ad' boasting of its 10,200 weekly circulation: 'We deliver to all homes (except where large dogs frighten the deliverers).'

* IAN CROWTHER'S Fairfax Community Newspapers team at The St George & Sutherland Shire Leader is looking for a full-time outbound telephone sales person to work from the Hurstville office. mculbert@mail.fairfax.com.au CHRIS ZAMBOUNIS at FCN's Fairfield City Champion seeks a Feature Sales Representative. JEHANNE O'BRIEN is taking applications for a Clerical Assistant vacancy at the FCN Campbelltown office.

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Melbourne Memo

* MICHAEL FRAZER and PAUL MASON have been appointed Operations Leaders for The Age Print Centre at Tullamarine, reporting to CHRIS MONAGHAN. MARTIN SAUNDERS becomes Reliability Services Leader. Other appointments include DARRYL BILLING, reliability Services Co-Ordinator (Systems); NIGEL WORNE, Reliability Services Co-Ordinator (Contracts); SCOTT ENGLISH, LAZ RSIOKAS and MARK RHODES, Reliability Services Co-Ordinators (Electrical/Electronics); LAURIE ISAACS and ROCCO BARILLARO (Mechanical).

* DEBORAH GOUGH, Editor of the Fairfax Community Newspapers (Western Division), has been running front-page promotional pieces quoting CAB audit figures and ROY MORGAN research to show better readership than others. The Footscray Mail/Williamstown Advertiser/Altona-Laverton Mail compares its readership directly by name to the independent Western Times run by RON COLEMAN and JULIE UPSON. Across at Brimbank, where competition is RUPERT MURDOCH'S Brimbank Messenger, the reference is strictly limited to 'the opposition'.

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West Wire

* CATIE LOW, of WA Business News, says State Government support will enable the Access 31 community TV signal be carried to rural viewers on the Westlink satellite service operated by the Department of Contract and Management Services. The signal is being carried at no charge at nights and weekends for 2½ years. Chairman BILL McGINNIS says a number of rural shires had approached the Perth service asking for its community-based content to be extended to their communities. 'We're not a network, our aim is to put programming out and places which have got the facility to produce programming with local material we can help.'

Press Gang

* SUE COULTON of The Border Mail reported on Saturday that the Victorian Government chose a Melbourne printing company (not named) to print a newsletter about the one city merger of Albury-Wodonga. PAUL CONROY, Media Manager to Local Government Minister BOB CAMERON, confirmed that job was completed for $665 plus GST, in Melbourne rather than a border company.

* KAREN KLEIN was in charge of the impressive 24-page 'Yom Ha'atzmaut' souvenir carried in this week's Australian Jewish News. The annual supplement, printed on 80 gsm, celebrates 1948 - 2001, and was designed by PETER NICHOLS. Others in the the crew included National Production Manager ROD KENNING; Production Co-Ordinators BRIAN McHUGH (Melbourne) and ROSALIE PENCHARZ (Sydney). Melbourne ads included the Victorian Branch of the Liberal Party; Sydney ads included the Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch) - ERIC ROOZENDAAL, General Secretary.

.

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Air Waves

* BRENDAN SHEEDY resigned suddenly on Thursday as Sky Radio GM. The network has been taken over by Southern Cross Broasdcasting, who have installed former 2UE management bod IAN WALLACE.

* AMT ONLINE reports 2UE Program Director MICHAEL HIBBERD 'has lost his job, as has DUGALD SAUNDERS and several other news and program. Remaining staff are said to be 'nervous'.'

TV Guide

* KYLIE KEOGH had a unique intro to the Logies awards, which was found in Darwin's Sunday Territorian: 'There's one thing funnyman SHAUN MICALLEF won't be doing while he's hosting the Logies tonight - bullshitting.'

* PETER WILMOTH had a wonderfully piece on the spin-doctoring associated with the TV Week Logies. He points out that the mag's circulation has dropped from 854,278 in 1984, to today's 281,169. Might we soon see the profit-strapped PMP license the TV Week brand to the free Sunday TV guides appearing in Sunday papers across the nation?

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Your ABC

* ANNE DAVIES, of the Sydney Morning Herald, reports that the ABC is to receive at least $28 million more in next month's Budget to extend radio and TV services and improve transmission.

* IRIS MAKIER, ABC Moscow correspondent, lost her case on Friday at the NSW Industrial Commission after claiming it was unfair for her to be removed from her posting.

* STEVE CHASE, ABC 702 (Sydney) presenter, resigned on Friday.

* JOHN HOWARD ('BOB JELLY' of Sea Change) joined a crowd estimated by The Sydney Morning Herald at 11,000 for the 'Extraordinary General Meeting' of ABC 'shareholders', on the Opera House steps at 11am on Sunday. Other prominents included BARRY JONES, journalist QUENTIN DEMPSTER, comedian ROD QUANTOCK, REV. BILL CREWS, SKUNK HOUR, and Crikey's STEPHEN MAYNE.

* TONI ROBERTSON, ABC Sydney, is offering a Senior Management Account's position for about $100,000. GPO Box 9994, Sydney. (By the way, the box number comes from DON BRADMAN'S batting average, we're told).

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Absent Friends

* PETER NUGENT, Federal Liberal MHR for Aston, died this past week. ROSS PEAKE, Canberra Times political writer, wrote: 'I knew a man who was uncommonly decent and decidely brave'. His sub-editors agreed with their uncommon headline: 'Liberals lose decent and honourable man'.

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Movers And Shakers

* HELEN ANDERSON, new Editor of The Australian Magazine, was given a Page 2 promo in The Weekend Oz: 'In the next few months you will see changes in your magazine that reflect my commitment to fine journalism and my curiosity about the world.' Inside the mag, the 'first person' tub-thump continues: 'The world's great magazines, I've observed, have three things in common: an obsessive commitment to excellence; a relentless curiosity about the world; and a personality as challenging and endearing as a best friend's. The best editors are unstinting in their pursuit of the first two qualities: the real magic, though, lies in the nurturing of the latter. In the next few months you will see changes in your magazine that reflect my commitment to excellence and my curiosity about the world. The personality of a magazine, however, is fashioned from the talent of all its staff and fed by the enthusiasm of its readers. So, for me, the magic begins.' Puh-leese!

* DAN FISHER has become Ombudsman for MSNBC.COM. He has been Editor-in-Chief at the company's Money Central.

* COL ALLAN, Daily Telegraph Editor-in-Chief, is becoming The New York Post E-I-C, replacing XANA ANTUNES, 47. The New York Daily News columnist PAUL COLFORD says ALLAN is remembered 'for being on the losing end of a few bar-room dust-ups during his earlier stint as a New York-based correspondent'. CLOFORD explains ALLAN earned a nick-name of 'Canvas Back' after 'landing flat on his back in Manhattan brawls'.

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The Local Report

* ROB FURST'S Beat 56-page Melbourne street-paper (which also has a 28-page Play supplement, and monthly Mixdown) now has a full-colour gloss skin designed by MATTHEW RANDALL. It also has a recently new printer: PMP Print, Hawthorn (formerly Argus). The Beat team includes long-standing all-rounder, Production Manager ARTHUR KARRAS, as well as Arts/Club Editor GREG SCEALY, Music Editor MARY MIHELAKOS and Editorial Co-Ordinator RAMON LOBATO.

* BEECH WATTS has designed the matt/colour cover for the competitor InPress 68-page street-paper owned by JOHN B. FAIRFAX'S Rural Press - Dharma Media. Main players are Music Editor SHANE O'DONOGHUE, Arts Editor MEGAN SLOLEY, Zebra supplement Editor KATIA ZANUTTA, The Guide boss GLENN PETERS, and Sales and Marketing Manager CRAIG TREWEEK.

Glass House

* RAY MARTIN doesn't like the spotlight, it seems. The Mosman Daily this week reported - under the headline 'TV Star 'Craves Privacy' - that the Channel 9 personality fronted North Sydney Council to say he would be 'living in a fishpond' if his neighbour JIM SAUNDERS' development plan went ahead at Waverton. 'MR MARTIN'S main objection was to the construction of a second-storey balcony, saying it would invade the privacy and allow anyone on it a full view of his home ... 'I won't be able to kiss my wife goodbye'.' SAUNDERS' plan will be halved in size.

* WAYNE GREGSON, Bendigo Advertiser Editor, may need to update his paper's pix of PM JOHN HOWARD. Saturday's edition (Page 17) had a picture that could well have been pre-Prime Ministerial.

* THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW continues its regular series of corrections. The AFR Weekend Edition said: 'The AFR reported on Thursday that the British-based Daily Mirror Group was involved in litigation with radio giant, Austereo. it is in fact the British-based Daily Mail Group involved in that case.'

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Media Money

* $10.66: Southern Cross Broadcasting's shares finished four cents down on Friday after Chairman GEOFFREY CRAWFORD-FISH warned that fourth quarter trading would be difficult. CEO TONY BELL said the 2UE/Sky Radio takeover had now been completed, and earnings per share would be enhanced in fiscal 2002. Third quarter net profit was marginally ahead of the previous corresponding period.

* 26,000 COPIES: Number of 'Welcome To The Top End' liftouts being inserted in Darwin's Sunday Territorian on May 20, aimed primarily at existing and new Defence Force personnel. The supplement includes coverage of housing, health, education, shopping, climate and transport.

Bottom Line

* STUART HOWIE, Editor of The Courier (Ballarat, Vic.), saw his weekend edition report: 'RUPERT MURDOCH'S internet fund ePartners has decided to halt further investment in hi-tech ventures despite having another $A1.02 billion to spend. MARK BOOTH, a trusted senior executive of the MURDOCH empire, will leave the London-based ePartners in Australia after the decision (sic).'

The Last Word

* SIGRID THORNTON probably won't appear again as LAURA in ABC-TV's Sea Change. Not because of a lack of ratings, but MICHELLE HANNEN of BRW reveals that the TV show actually lost $5 million when ABC, Artist Services, Mayfair distributors and Granada were unable to sell the program sufficiently overseas.

P.S.

* BRUCE WOLPE, former US Congressional aide and now Corporate Affairs Manager for Fairfax (one of FRED HILMER'S right-hand men), wrote a revealing piece for Friday's Age about US President GEORGE W. BUSH'S first 100 days in office. 'BUSH is governing well, wielding his power cleanly, confidently and intelligently.'

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Australian Media Job Directory

Employment

* SCOTT DELLA-PIETRA or NICHOLAS TUCKFIELD, at MARGOT DAVIS AND COMPANY in Sydney, may be contacted about a Marketing and Communications Manager's job for a blue-chip global investment bank. corporate@mdavisco.com.au

* RICHARD WHITINGTON at Kris de Jager and Associates offers the Production Director's job for Walt Disney Animation Australia, Sydney. richard@dejager.com.au

* AXIS MEDIA GROUP, Sydney, require an Assistant Financial Controller, to probably take the FC's job in 12-18 months time at the Internet technology company. jobs@axis.com.au

* FAIRFAX COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS (VIC.) requires a full-time Credit Controller, paying $27,000. khayes@fcnvic.fairfax.com.au

* JO BREEN, Shepparton News Editor, seeks an experienced journalist 'who understands the needs of a regional community'. PO Box 204, Shepparton.

* KERYN McKINNON is taking applications for a Sub-editor's position at The Kalgoorlie Miner (WA). keryn.mckinnon@wanews.com.au

* LEO PETRIK is looking for Sales Executives to join egoldcoast.com.au. david@egoldcoast.com.au

* ROSLYN SMITH at Express Publications, Silverwater (NSW), requires a Production Editor to work on two horticultural magazines. info@expresspublications.com.au

* ELIZABETH WEISS, at Allen & Unwin, advertises for an Editor - Developmental Tertiary and Professional Publishing. PO Box 8500, St Leonards, 1590.

* GINA SPITHAKIS is taking applications for a journalist to work on the fortnightly Westpac News tabloid, 23,000 circulation. gspithakis@wetpac.com.au

* SUE JONKLAAS at Copyright Agency Limited is on the search for a Business Development Officer. sjonklaas@copyright.com.au

* DAVID HUGHAN at the HR Centre for Professional Development (part of the Thomson Corporation) seeks a Journalist for Occupational Health News and OHS News. employment.cpd@thomson.com.au

Work Wanted

* Advertise your 'Work Wanted' notice in Media Flash. We'll print your 'Work Wanted' ad for free. Simply E-Mail it to us by 5pm Friday at mediaflash@yahoo.com

* SYDNEY. Looking for passion, talent, and lots of initiative? Look no further. "Young, bright, enthusiastic editor, passionate about magazine publishing, is looking to launch a long-term, full-time career with your company. If you've been searching for an editor with an exceptional eye for detail, prolific writing ability, sensitive but sensible subbing skills, a talent for working with others, tons of creativity, over two years' industry experience, and lots of 'get up and go', then call JESSICA STOKES on 02 9517 1515 or 0402 911 166 or email jstokes@rabbit.com.au. I'd love to hear from you.

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