Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gurgle, Gurgle, 'round The Plughole

ANYONE who has followed the decline of Fairfax Media over the past few years will have been waiting for the day when the slow, inexorable decline goes into free fall. That moment may today be closer, with the stock at one point this morning descending to 69.5 cents, just a cent-and-a-half above its all-time low. As of 2.30pm it had clawed its way back to 70.5 cents, which still left it down almost 3% on the day so far. What makes this interesting is the volume, with some 20.5 million shares changing hands. That is roughly twice the average daily tally and it suggests AFX is being dumped.

What happens when the stock drops through that 69 cent barrier? Only time will tell, but one strong possibility will be that Gina Reinhart’s bid for one or two board seats is going to get a rocket-powered boost. How can Greg Hywood & Co look their largest stockholder in the eye and tell her to get lost, especially when their own tenure has seen a downhill run all the way?

The luvvie left imagines Reinhart wishes to call the editorial shots -- no doubt an example of projection, as that is what it does when given half a chance. But perhaps Reinhart sees things with a greater clarity, realising that it is the nonsense Fairfax publishes which has done so much to limit its market, sales and stock price. Fix the product and she might just turn the business side around.

Readers sometimes write to the Billabong to ask after the Professor’s peculiar interest in Fairfax. The answer is simple, and it is two words: Rupert Murdoch.

Several months ago, News Limited made Glen Milne disappear. Phhhtt! and he was gone – and all because, or so it would seem, those who run the company perceived it a better policy to avoid further aggravating our for-the-moment Prime Minister and her rabble. Murdoch, of whom many good things can be said, insisted in London last night that he neither bows to nor intimidates politicians, but Milne’s banishment puts the lie to his words. So, too, does the Herald & Weekly Times’ shameful decision not to appeal Andrew Bolt’s conviction for hurting the feelings of a few sensitive and well-connected souls.

A second media organisation, even an imperfect one, would go some way toward to boosting the cause of freedom of speech. That is why a healthier Fairfax is worth the effort of desiring.

UPDATE: Daily volume is now at 26 million and the stock has dropped again, down to 70 cents.
 
Gina, start making a fuss. Given that you bought into Fairfax at 81 cents, these jokers have already cost you around $20 million.

24 comments:

  1. With the News stable now requiring readers to -- wait for it -- Pay for content, now could be an opportune time to takeover the opposition and turn it around. News seems to think the only way to stay in the game is to charge though, time will tell.

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  2. Are they incapable of understanding that the Fairfax Empire is regurgitating puerile rubbish, and no one wants to shell out for it?
    They're like Captain Brown standing on the deck of the Titanic, enthusing about the new salt water pool lapping around his ankles, but wanting to send the concept back to the engineers for additional heating.

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  3. I'd be interested to know how many people simply WILL NOT BUY the SMH (or the Age). Maybe we should start a poll? As a conservative its probably not surprising but I know maybe 6 or 7 friends who simply will not bother buying the Silly. If management had any sense they would realise they need to appeal across the political spectrum rather than just the tight inner-city luvvies.

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  4. I've got about a thousand dollars. Anyone wanna go in with me and buy a controlling share of Fairfax. We can rotate the board position and sack Fitzsimons, Carlton, A Dill Horin, Schubert, Lenore Taylor, Jess Irvine and Ross 'the git' Gittins for starters. Watch the share price rocket upwards then.

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  5. Murdoch may "neither bows to nor intimidates politicians" but he certainly prostrates himself to Jews:

    http://www.adl.org/PresRele/Mise_00/5873_00.htm

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  6. I concur with your hope and desire for a new media organisation that is truly conservative. Thus my equal hope that Bolt remain a Murdochian.

    Bolt to speak for left-wing conservatives, along with his master, and the new org to speak for White Australians.

    Every year Bolt can post his Holocaustianity booklist, shitbag Christianity and speak for the homosexualists, meanwhile the new org can gather readership.

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  7. I suspect the lack of a Bolt appeal was based on legal advice. Something along the lines of, 'Not a hope in hell, Hornblower'. That would have been quickly followed by a simple financial decision, eg. 'We could throw a pile of money at this doomed enterprise and make a few lawyers wealthier. Or we could just head down the pub and make better use of the money.'

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  8. The 1970's was the end of journalism as some remember.

    The Age, AFR, they were the goto publications that told the 'real' news.

    Do you think The Age remember what they used to do?

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  9. Now you've mentioned Fairax, can you supply some info on Ten Network shares and Seven and The Western Australian News.
    Gina Rinehart (we were told) purchased a large stake in Ten and Fairfax as a business exercise. It would seem this has failed.
    Do you believe she bought into these media companies as a financial decision, or as her critics have said, as a way to influence the media to her view of the politics of this country?
    R.B Perth

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  10. mojo, Unrepentant YankApril 27, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    If the Nervous Nellies are dumping, it's time for Gina to buy, buy, buy!

    Use cutouts, though. No need to tip the suckers off.

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  11. 26 million is, in all fairness, greater than one individual newspaper per head of population everywhere in Australia. So that circulation figure needs to be clarified and broken down a little before you crow too much.

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  12. The left-leaning media continue to pursue Murdoch and News Ltd, and all their works, with something akin to the vengefulness of the ancient Greek Furies. It is always open season. Why? Because they are often seen to be supportive of narratives other than the approved leftist ones, and this cannot be tolerated. It's like the Sunni v. Shia, or the old Protestant v. Catholic thing. Visceral, tribal, unedifying, cheap, nasty.

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  13. Brian of ThirlmereApril 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Hmm ... I've never thought about putting Fairfax in my share portfolio just for the fun of it. I think I might go do that now. Shee hee hee.

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  14. Na, Murdoch made the Poison Dwarf disappear because he was a public drunk and a lousy journalist. It's about productivity not politics and I doubt any polly had anything to do with it.

    After all, his politics weren't near as loathsome as Bolt's (it wasn't "political incorrectness" that got Bolt into trouble, BTW, but his getting his facts wrong when making personal attacks - ie shit journalism. Read the actual court judgement, not Bolt's self-serving gloss). But then Bolt gets well-written copy in on time every day so his job will be safe.

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  15. Bunyip, How about a story on the Mighty Ted? This doddart ruling Victoria brings a tear to a middle aged Liberal Voter's eye. He is set to increase fines for unregistered pets. I recall be taught of an Australia where we would hang officials who tried to fine you for failing to register your dog.

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  16. I just received an e-mail offer of a month's digital subscription for $1. I'm still trying to decide whether the subscription or 1.25 shares is the better value.

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  17. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.April 28, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Hi Prof, everywhere I go in Melbourne there are free copies of The Age. In a bored moment, I decided to give one of them a go: what a mistake! There is nothing worth reading in it. Some arty farty stuff, some very one-sided international news, some luvvie stuff that even luvvies couldn't believe in, a few academics of the tired old variety having their usual rave about equity and social justice etc, tutorial 101 style. Not a journalist worthy of the name anywhere in sight. I knew it was bad, but this bad?? It makes even the SMH look good. Poor Melbourne. Poor Lizzie to live here for a while.

    Hey, isn't Melbourne different to Sydney? Reduced to reading the death and funeral notices in The Age, how interesting for me to find that all Melbourne funeral parlours designate their customers (the deceased ones, that is) in titular mode: Mrs, Mr, and other honorifics. An older style, rather quaint I think. Not like brash old Sydney at all where the dead are just plain dead Johns and Janes.

    Meanwhile, on Victorian highways the Irish Ape has been going demented with very frequent road signs that he says are shouting at him all the time, telling him he's tired, and to take a nap, and pull over and stop yawning and OPEN his eyes and that he'll die in wet weather. Feckin' nannies, he strenuously objects.

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  18. mojo, Unrepentant YankMay 1, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    Your baby 'as gone down the plug-'ole
    Your baby 'as gone down the plug
    The poor little thing was so skinny and thin
    'E should 'ave been washed in a jug...

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  19. Come back Bunyip! Come back!

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  20. Hi Prof, I hope you are ok. Kind regards Anita

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  21. Time's up Prof! I visit every day in the vain hope of more witty words of wisdomPlease come back and cheer my day.

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  22. Are you coming back Prof? If possible let us know either way. Hope all is ok.

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  23. What has happened to this great blog? Come back - please!

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  24. Professor come back. This is your time. The Age etcetera.

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