Nine Gobbles Fairfax

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Two of Australia’s biggest media companies, Nine and Fairfax, will merge to create a media giant:

“Fairfax and Nine have announced a $4 billion merger that will create an integrated media giant across television, online video streaming, print, digital and real estate advertising — and erase the Fairfax name.

“Nine will be the dominant partner, with its current shareholders holding 51.1 per cent of the merged company’s shares, and the current Nine chief executive and chairman — Hugh Marks and former federal treasurer Peter Costello, respectively — leading the combined firm, which will be called Nine…

“The proposed merged media giant will include Nine’s free-to-air television network, digital advertising businesses (such as Domain), streaming services Stan and 9Now, Fairfax’s newspapers and online publications, as well as Fairfax’s Macquarie Media radio interests.”

Fairfax staff are reacting snarkily:

Meanwhile, us regular folk who have seen The Age sink from being a half readable broadsheet to a stinking pile of leftist propaganda can’t help but think of iconic bit of Aussie slang:

To back up the headline that Nine is gobbling Fairfax, look out how the share market reacted:

“Fairfax’s investors reacted enthusiastically to the tie-up, sending the company’s shares 12 per cent higher to 86 cents shortly after 11:00am (AEST).

“However, Nine investors were not keen, pushing the company’s share price 7.5 per cent lower to $2.33.”

Nine’s investors know the company will be absorbing weaker stock, akin to the reunification of Germany in the early 1990’s when the West took an initial economic hit.

Some could argue that the government’s weakening of regulation is helping to create a Mainstream Media Megalith which will strengthen the current stranglehold of the fake news media:

“A Fairfax-Nine tie-up was considered one of the most likely deals to be done after the Federal Government relaxed media ownership laws.

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the deal highlighted the necessity of the law change, saying the merger would strengthen both companies which were operating in a “tough, competitive” environment.”

But another merger to consider is that between AFL clubs Fitzroy Lions and Brisbane Bears in the late 1990’s. The Brisbane Lions won three flags in a row from 2001-2003 and lost the 2004 Grand Final to Port Adelaide. It’s done nothing since, because its support base is minimal.

Likewise, there is a reason we call the Dinosaur Media the Dinosaur Media. It is dying, and its death will open the space for humans to flourish:

“Media analyst Steve Allen from Fusion Strategy said he did not think the deal would be the end of print for Fairfax.

“I think the move that they made last week in the announcement of the shared printing facilities with News Limited has extended the life of newsprint for a number of years, if not possibly for half a decade,” he told ABC News.

They’re all cutting costs. Now more than ever, we should increase the pressure.