Fairfax Just The Facts

During the past few days, since the announcement by David Kirk and Brian McCarthy of the company's planned re-structure of the business, Fairfax Media has been the subject of a great deal of unfair and biased media coverage. We feel it is important that we set the record straight about a number of related issues that have been twisted out of context, and to reiterate that Fairfax Media remains committed to maintaining top quality across its mastheads, and is optimistic about the direction and long-term growth of the business.

There are a lot of legitimate issues on the table about the future of major newspapers, the quality of journalism, the evolution of the media industry, and how to face the future. They are all fair game and worthy of serious discussion.

But along the way, we have heard a lot of nonsense about what Fairfax Media is doing and why.

So it's time you got some straight talk from us about what our plans are and where we want to go. Just the facts. So you can see for yourselves what we are saying and what we are telling our staff.

And that is just what we will do.

To see updates to Just the Facts, please scroll down.

Bruce Wolpe
Director of Corporate Affairs
Fairfax Media

The full statement from David Kirk and Brian McCarthy

The restructure announced by David Kirk and Brian McCarthy is of critical importance to the company.

The full statement from the publishers of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Read the statements of the publishers of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The new enterprise bargaining agreement

Negotiations for a new enterprise bargaining agreement were successfully concluded on August 31. Read the company statement here.

The facts about the full year financial results

Fairfax Media had a very strong company performance across regional and community publishing, Fairfax Business Media, agriculture publications, printing operations, Fairfax magazines, and other business operations.

  • Full Financial Results Part 1 | PDF 17kb Part 2 | PDF 35kb

The facts about circulation and readership

The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Financial Review and other publications are reporting strong circulation and readership.

The facts from financial analysts

Financial analysts believe that the company's restructure will strengthen Fairfax Media and not harm its publications.

Editorial quality maintained

Fairfax Media's CEO says quality will be maintained.

Just The Facts ~ Updates

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"The Public Good, Public Companies, and the Future of Print Media and Quality Journalism" - David Kirk

David Kirk Address To The Sydney Institute, October 14 2008:
"The Public Good, Public Companies, and the Future of Print Media and Quality Journalism".


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 8:34 AM
Monday, September 15, 2008

Paul Ramadge appointed Editor in Chief of The Age and the Sunday Age.

In discussing his appointment, Mr Ramadge said: "Much has been said about the current challenges at The Age. We, the team at The Age, will work extremely hard to maintain editorial quality and integrity. We will continue to be creative, innovative and thought-provoking. We are passionate about these values, and we know how much The Age means to so many people. The Age has faced many twists and turns in its distinguished past. We will face more as we adapt to a multi-media future. What we won't do is forget what makes a great paper, what is dearest to us, as journalists, and what is dearest to our readers and advertisers. These are challenging but exciting times for newspapers like The Age."

The full announcement:


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 9:52 AM
Friday, September 12, 2008

Jack Matthews Remarks to AGSM Graduates

September 11 2008

Jack Matthews, CEO of Fairfax Digital, told the business school graduates Career Day program, "If Fairfax is going to become the integrated media company we aspire to be, we need to be able to efficiently and effectively deliver our quality journalism to anyone, anywhere, anytime. That means that the processes that underpin the creation and distribution of our content need to be efficient and cost-effective. And it means that we maintain a solid level of journalism resources." His remarks on quality journalism and Fairfax Media's strategy are excerpted here.


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 9:13 AM
Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday Age Editorial

The Sunday Age (7/9/08) editorialised on the restructure. The leader concluded as follows: "To lose 45-55 people will be painful and dispiriting. What we have been asked to do is to think hard, even radically, to concentrate on what we do best. We welcome Fairfax's repeated commitment to quality - it's the papers' most precious asset. Can we do it? The truth is, we hope so."

Read the full editorial here.

  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 9:47 AM
Thursday, September 4, 2008

David Kirk Media Report interview

Radio National, Media Report, 4 Sept 2008, 8.31am

Compere: Antony Funnell

David Kirk responds to criticism surrounding the announcement of job cuts throughout Fairfax Media. Kirk says they are working through the cuts in consultation with the union and employees. He says he thinks managers of the business are employed to manage it and that means making decisions and says the strike last week was nothing to do with redundancies.

Interviewees: David Kirk, Fairfax Media


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 1:32 PM

The Graham Perkin Award

The Australian has misreported the facts about the Graham Perkin Award (The Australian, Media, 4/9/08). "Fairfax has also withdrawn its $20,000 a year funding for the Graham Perkin Award for journalistic excellence, which was instituted in 1976 as a memorial to the late editor of its Melbourne broadsheet The Age. Fairfax has denied axing the awards money was part of its cost-cutting, saying it planned to hold internal awards instead."

Just the facts:

Members of the Perkin family and The Age are due to meet next week to discuss how the Graham Perkin Award can be made more meaningful and effective. No decision or announcement about its future has been made, and won't be made until those discussions are over. It is important that talk about the Graham Perkin Award be kept completely separate from the present wide-ranging debate about Fairfax Media's business improvement program announced by David Kirk on August 26, 2008. Given that Fairfax Media has never included withdrawal of the Graham Perkin Award as part of its broader cost-saving strategy, the two issues are completely separate.

  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 12:14 PM

Misreported facts on AFR.com

The Australian misreported the facts on AFR.com (The Australian, Media, 4/9/08). "AFR.com was relaunched twice last year and Fairfax chief executive David Kirk said the website was not attracting enough subscribers," the Australian said. "But while other news sites have moved to make more of their content free, AFR.com has stuck with its pay model ..."

Just the facts:

Here is what David Kirk said at the annual results briefing for analysts on August 21: "AFR.com performance was particularly pleasing. The business continues on the journey of becoming a multimedia business and AFR.com is really starting to find its legs. The business grew in all important metrics, retail and corporate subscriptions, unique browsers, PIs, time on site, advertising revenue, and we're very satisfied with that."


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 9:39 AM
Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Interview with Bruce Wolpe on ABC774 Melbourne

"The publishers, the editors, management of the company is absolutely committed to continuing the great heritage quality and integrity of these mastheads. It runs in their veins, that's what they believe, that's what they want to do and that's what they're committed to."

Full transcript:


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 6:42 PM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008

David Kirk was interviewed by AAP. "It's quite mischievous of people to say that there's going to be a decline in the quality," he said.

Full story here

  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 5:44 PM

Eric Beecher interview

Eric Beecher has been a strident critic of Fairfax Media and its management. Just the facts: when asked last week what he would do if he could control Fairfax, Mr Beecher said he would sell it or break it up. Well, we reject that.


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 5:42 PM

Fairfax Media audience reach

Fairfax Media in print and online has exceptional penetration in the market with readers.


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 5:35 PM

"All we can do now is get good papers out . . ." The World Today interview

David Kirk's interview with The World Today on ABC Radio: "All we can do now is get good papers out, pull the organisation together and continue to do what we do well."

Full transcript:


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 5:32 PM

David Kirk interviews

David Kirk has been interviewed extensively over the last few days:
- Fairfax chief defends cuts, Miriam Steffens, SMH

- Lockout threat was legal: Fairfax boss, Jesse Hogan, The Age

- Kirk slams News' strike reporting, Neil Shoebridge, AFR, full text below:


  • Posted by Fairfax Corporate Affairs at 5:07 PM