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Fairfax – The Message, “Don’t Charge for News Content”.

26 Aug 2009

Fairfax has reported a net loss of $380.1 million for the last financial year, far from the net profit of $386.9 million one year ago.


Total revenue for Fairfax fell 10.6 per cent to $2.6 billion compared to $2.9 billion one year earlier.


All of Australia's major media companies are reporting lower earnings amid a downturn in advertising and tough economic conditions.


Fairfax CEO, Brian McCarthy, told B&T that, in light of the current climate, Fairfax was assessing it's options in terms of charging readers to view online content published by its titles and indicated he would be open to speak with rival News Limited on devising a common plan to charge for online content.


However the following advice was posted on


"The message? It's complex, but here's something the Fairfax board can have for free: don't charge for news content like Rupert Murdoch wants you to. Why should Fairfax surrender its leading position to level the playing field and improve Murdoch's second-class online status in Australia? Fairfax is the dominant online news brand in this country and it's vastly more profitable than the Fairfax metro papers. For that matter it's vastly more profitable than the Nine and Seven TV Networks and probably the TEN Network is at the moment. Newspapers may be dying in a ditch, but Fairfax still has a good little earner online....unless Rupert cons them out of it.



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