AFR takes over MIS

By Philip Sim in Media News on

Fairfax is set to advertise for a new editor of MIS magazine, who will report directly to Australian Financial Review technology editor Mark Jones.

The move comes as the dust settles on the companys controversial decision to align its Fairfax Business Magazines division with its flagship business masthead, The Australian Financial Review. As well as moving to integrate the MIS and Financial Review technology editorial teams, MIS will be rebranded as an AFR magazine in the same way Boss magazine currently is, although unlike Boss, it will continue to be distributed and managed independently. FBM titles including MIS, CFO and Asset magazine would effectively become "super verticals" of The Australian Financial Review, said Fairfax Business Magazine boss Andrew Birmingham.

Birmingham denied that the divisions restructure was a cost-cutting exercise and said that all MIS editorial staff would be retained. In regard to MIS he said the move was designed to bring to bear on MIS, the reputation, expertise and discipline of The Australian Financial Review in a move that our competitor cant respond to.

Were locked in a dog fight, where two magazines dominate what we want to do is steal a march and surge ahead from those folk, Birmingham said.

However, Don Kennedy, managing director of IDG which publishes MIS primary rival CIO, claimed not to be concerned.

The readership research has shown that MIS is a stronger brand than the AFR in that community so I dont expect it to change the competitive landscape in anyway.

News of the Fairfax Business Magazine restructure surfaced last month but at that time the company declined to outline plans until it had resolved all staffing issues associated with the move.

One staffing issue now finalised is the decision by former MIS editor Tamara Plakalo not to return to the IT magazine and to continue working on the still-secret project she had been seconded to.

Her decision means the MIS editorship is now vacant and, although former-deputy editor Paul Smith has been warming the seat as acting editor in Plakalos absence, Mark Jones said it was AFR policy for all openings of this ilk to be advertised.

Jones is now effectively managing editor of both The Australian Financial Review Information team and the MIS editorial team and he confirmed he would be making the decision on the new editor, in consultation with Australian Financial Review editor Glenn Burge.

The person needs to have a solid grounding in the Australian IT user community. Id like them to also have a strong understanding of technologies and how they work and an added advantage would be the ability to network effectively and represent the magazine in public if need be, Jones said.

Its also important to understand that MIS is now part of The Fin it is a Financial Review magazine in the same way that Boss and Life and Leisure are so an additional asset to have would be an understanding of newspapers and breaking news and the potential synergies between the paper and the magazine."

Interested candidates can email Jones at

With MIS editorial being integrated with The Fin, Jones said that theyll be an ongoing exchange of information and that he would expect writers from both teams to work across both titles.

That said, he stressed that MIS will continue to have its own unique content.

MIS editorial is not broken, rather its a case of looking for opportunities where [The AFR] can take advantage of MIS content and resources and vice versa, Jones said.

Birmingham said he firmly believed that MIS will be a better magazine as an Australian Financial Review magazine and said the MIS team could only benefit from working with AFR journalists, who he claimed were the best in the business.

If you look at something like the NAB IT story, at a specialist magazine you would ring a freelancer who would go out there and do the story and theyd do a good job of it but at the end of the day, the people who know implicitly the ins and outs of IT at the NAB are the journalists on The Australian Financial Review, Birmingham said.

He said that Fairfax Business Media would establish a single pool of production and sub-editing resources, of which current MIS staff would become a part of, and confirmed MIS would be taking all of its resources across.

Meanwhile MIS manager Rigney said that the realisation of synergies between The Australian Financial Review would be initiatives like co-branded events and even joint products and supplements.

This will really allow us to take things to the next level and get access to content, people and interviews that previously were perhaps not possible."

Birmingham said that three years ago, MIS was well behind CIO according to the McNair annual enterprise readership but is now statistically equal (CIO beat MIS in the latest survey but by a margin smaller than the researchs stated margin of error, giving Fairfax claim to equal leadership). These moves were designed to now vault MIS ahead of its rival, Birmingham claimed.

While Fairfax appears to be on the competition warpath, IDGs Kennedy was taking a very relaxed approach to the changes.

"MIS and CIO are both doing very well, they've both got strong readership and good advertising support, although we'd like to see more," Kennedy said. He said he was more interested in promoting the enterprise IT media market, generally, than worrying about taking market share off other magazines.

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32 staff out from the West Australian

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The West Australian Newspapers (WAN) group is farewelling 32 staff who have all accepted redundancies.

WAN editor Anthony de Ceglie said the move was part of long-term plans to integrate The West Australian and the Sunday Times staff into a seven-day newsroom.

Some of those moving on from The West are hardened veterans such as state political editor Gary Adshead and health editor Cathy O'Leary, both 2018 WA Media Awards honourees.

"It's always sad to see people go, there's a trauma involved in saying goodbye to legends of the game. Gary is definitely one of them, but we move on. The show goes on and there'll obviously be a paper put out tomorrow still. So to be honest, the real tragic part of Gary leaving is I feel like I've only had a few months to work with him," de Ceglie said of Adshead.

Magazine editor Sue Yeap, politics reporters Daniel Mercer and Phoebe Wearne, general news reporter Claire Tyrell, and sports reporter Bridget Lacy, among others,

Game Informer's Australian edition ends

By Craig Daveson in Media News on
Game Informer Australia is set to be replaced by the US edition as a result of cuts made by EB Games and its parent company Gamestop.
Australian editor David Milner announced the news in a lengthy social media post today, which marks his final as editor of the publication.
In that post, Milner attributed the closure to Gamestop’s inability to find a buyer in recent months, and a drop in the company’s share price.
As Game Informer’s Australian editor, Milner was responsible for 68 issues of the magazine, which is one of few Australian made specialist gaming publications still on the shelves.
“I don't know what’s next. I need time to think. This is a job that never slept; even when I was on holiday I was checking emails, managing crises, handling social media, always thinking about the next deadline,” said Milner.
“I once brought my laptop to the MCG and subbed magazine pages during the Boxing Day

10 launches new podcast

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Network 10 and Acast have launched a new political podcast show under the 10 Speaks brand, called The Professor and the Hack.

Hosted by 10 network political editor Peter van Onselen and national affairs editor Hugh Riminton, the show aims to tackle various political issues that may be relevant to Australians as the general election draws near.

“When it comes to politics, Peter and Hugh are world-class and their banter, insights and take on the world is unique, accessible and relatable. I may be biased of course, but I’d highly recommend the first episode to those who enjoy good ol’ political banter,” said 10 CEO Paul Anderson.

Fitzgerald appointed to Tonic board

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Tonic Health Media‘s board is now bolstered with Anthony Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald comes in as Tonic continues to push ahead with its expansion. The Tonic appointment is his first since leaving Multi-Channel Network last October after 15 years as CEO. He also served 18 years heading Seven’s sales division.

“Anthony has continually challenged the status quo for many years which is exactly what Tonic is doing,” said Tonic CEO, Dr Matthew Cullen.

“His vision, expertise and passion will help us meet our goal of improving health literacy and outcomes for all Australians.”

Get to know Fitzgerald on LinkedIn.

Your Money online site shuttered

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

NewsCorp Australia and Nine have agreed to close down the website component of finance platform Your Money.

Your Money CEO Kylie Merritt said the decision was made to integrate its content with NewsCorp Australia’s platforms, starting with Your Money’s presence continues on social media channels, 9Now, and Foxtel Go.

Your Money was launched six months ago as part of a collaboration between News Corp and Nine, involving a stand-alone digital presence, television channel and social media accounts.

Four personnel connected with running the website have agreed to move on. Your Money digital operations head David Ash resigned several weeks ago.

Books+Publishing shuffles senior staff

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

ANZ book industry portal Books+Publishing has made some editorial changes.

The company announced that current editor-in-chief Andrew Wrathall is moving up to production manager; the job now puts him in charge of the company CRM systems, print production, and running the official website. He has been with the company for a decade, spending most of it as publishing and digital media coordinator.  

Kelsey Oldham is moving up from assistant editor to editor. She is relatively new to the company having joined last August. Sarah Farquharson is promoted from news editor to managing editor. The two of them join digital editor Brad Jefferies in the company’s editorial circle.

NewsCorp Australia mobilises political journo crew

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

NewsCorp Australia has marshalled its political reporting team for in-depth coverage of the upcoming federal elections.

The consortium stated that each politics reporter handling the newspaper mastheads from metro to community level,, Storyful, and SKY News, are committed to the endeavour.

These include The Daily Telegraph’s Anna Caldwell and Sheradyn Holderhead, Melbourne Herald Sun’s James Campbell, The Courier-Mail’s Renee Viellaris and The Adelaide Advertiser’s Jade Gailberger and Matt Smith.

Health correspondent Sue Dunlevy, political reporter Claire Bickers, senior writer Paul Toohey, cost of living editor John Rolfe and personal finance experts Sophie Elsworth and Anthony Keane are also tagging in with discussions on the elections’ effect on their fields. SKY News hosts Peta Credlin, David Speers, and Paul Murray will even write op-eds for metro and regional papers.

A multichannel campaign called Truth Builds Trust is also being ang

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