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Canberra Times puts out call for new General Manager …. on competitor Seek

By 4 March 2014 27

Seek ad for Canberra Times General Manager
Things must be getting pretty rough at Fairfax if they can’t get a job response for the General Manager’s position via their own advertising network.

[My contacts] inside CT report a major shake-up underway which may see Canberra’s only daily rag reduced to a tiny operation operating out of someone’s mum’s basement. Printed edition to be dropped entirely.

Does anyone care? Or do people only access CT to backdoor the Fairfax “paywall”?

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27 Responses to Canberra Times puts out call for new General Manager …. on competitor Seek
#1
HiddenDragon11:27 am, 04 Mar 14

“[My contacts] inside CT report a major shake-up underway which may see Canberra’s only daily rag reduced to a tiny operation operating out of someone’s mum’s basement. Printed edition to be dropped entirely.”

Happening soon, or maybe eventually? – if the former, a 2014 Shock! Horror! Budget edition would make for a suitably dramatic swan song for the CT as we have known it.

The CT is still good for the parochial stuff – e.g. the coverage of the 19 February storm – but online is clearly superior for stories of that sort. Beyond that, it’s the occasionally entertaining/satisfying local opinion piece and a mish-mash of national and international stuff, usually with a slant aimed at what is presumably assumed to be the typical Canberran’s world view (so not very appealing if you don’t conform to that stereotype).

#2
Stormfront Org12:07 pm, 04 Mar 14

As long as their online content remains the same and they don’t ditch classifieds with WL’s ads, many of fellow Canberra punters will not care.:) Sure, it’s a hit and miss at times, but very useful when you want some new “thrills”.

#3
Walker12:23 pm, 04 Mar 14

“A key requirement of this role will be the ability of the General Manager to operate in a matrix management structure, as other key senior management positions on site directly report elsewhere in the Fairfax organisation, while having local performance responsibilities.”

I’ve an image in mind of Keanu Reeves getting the job, being responsible for it all somehow, yet having to sneak around with a mobile phone dodging managers that don’t answer. Hopefully there’s a Morpheus somewhere to help out.

I don’t understand how a manager can have so little control yet so much responsibility. Hardly seems fair.

How can you answer to factors you can’t control? Some explaining needed. I’m sure an applicant would have that clarified in due course.

“The ability to establish and maintain strong relationships to the benefit of the business, without direct control of some functions, is essential.”

This makes a bit more general sense.

#4
justsomeaussie1:20 pm, 04 Mar 14

Interesting spec:

Serving the nation’s capital, The Canberra Times and its associated publications the Sunday Times and The Chronicle are the flailing news and advertising mediums in the Canberra market.

The Canberra market requires the Canberra Times business to have in-bed relationships with government, business and community so that we can rely on handouts and pity. While a metro publication, the local market is very much a focus for dismal financial performance.

The General Manager of this business has L&L responsibility for the overall operation, excluding the Domain real estate operation which we gouge the market with so we wouldn’t trust you with that.

A key requirement of this role will be the ability of the General Manager to ride this baby down to its eventual dismal failure only to be found in 2030 in the walls of Canberra’s crumbling Kingston Foreshore development.
Other key senior management positions on site directly report elsewhere in the Fairfax organisation because they are just trying to save their own jobs too and don’t want to be brought any further down with your local performance responsibilities.

The ability to salvage and rescue relationships to the benefit of the business, while your immediate managers are on junkets overseas.

The successful applicant will also need to be alive and have;

Strong strategic focus on what is needed in a local market in a time of significant change within the media landscape.
Be held to account in a rapidly changing media environment of which you’ll have no control of but will be expected to make “changes”

Someone that is aware evolving digital media opportunities, and who has seen an iPad even if it’s on TV

Management of complex business structures because we have no idea how anyone can solve this.

Demonstrate ability to fudge budget statements and make things appear good to shareholders.

#5
justin heywood2:19 pm, 04 Mar 14

Well Johnboy, one door closes and another opens!

(good to be a fly on the wall at THAT interview)

#6
c_c™2:40 pm, 04 Mar 14

Something is cooking according to Noel Towel: https://twitter.com/noeltowell/status/440692129501679617

#7
c_c™2:43 pm, 04 Mar 14

justsomeaussie said :

Interesting spec:

Serving the nation’s capital, The Canberra Times and its associated publications the Sunday Times and The Chronicle are the flailing news and advertising mediums in the Canberra market.

That says it all really. Their pitch used to be serving the capital AND the nation, and if you go back through their archives, you see that they often had better reporting that even the SMH. But those aspirations are long dead. And having some inside knowledge myself of their operations, I don’t see that improving frankly.

#8
Eaglehawk2:53 pm, 04 Mar 14

I’m sure if the CT just switched to a “pictures only” format, and just did a weekend only edition full of bad parking photos, readership might improve?

Speaking of bad parking…why no 2014 threads for it?

#9
PantsMan4:42 pm, 04 Mar 14

PantsMan said :

…to backdoor the Fairfax “paywall”?

Sounds painful!

#10
c_c™5:28 pm, 04 Mar 14

Oh come on what was litigious about the two comments that didn’t get posted?

#11
c_c™6:16 pm, 04 Mar 14

c_c™ said :

Oh come on what was litigious about the two comments that didn’t get posted?

ok, now they are posted. No worries, carry on.

#12
Az6:27 pm, 04 Mar 14

c_c™ said :

Oh come on what was litigious about the two comments that didn’t get posted?

Don’t sweat it CC, RA is probably protecting itself from a big sook backed by corporate cash who can’t handle having the spotlight reversed.

I’ve heard such sooks often get bitten by karma, once before and soon to be bitten again. Hope that isn’t too cryptic.

#13
EvanJames10:28 pm, 04 Mar 14

The CT was a good paper, right up until, the 90s? It’s hard to fathom what caused such a massive decline. A one paper town, and yet that paper still failed. And when it’s gone, I bet someone starts up a new paper, and it does OK.

#14
bundah11:45 pm, 04 Mar 14

EvanJames said :

The CT was a good paper, right up until, the 90s? It’s hard to fathom what caused such a massive decline. A one paper town, and yet that paper still failed. And when it’s gone, I bet someone starts up a new paper, and it does OK.

Digital journalism combined with precipitous falls in advertising revenue have taken their toll on newspapers. If the crimes goes under I can’t envisage anything successfully replacing it.

#15
HiddenDragon12:24 am, 05 Mar 14

c_c™ said :

Something is cooking according to Noel Towel: https://twitter.com/noeltowell/status/440692129501679617

Sounds like more of those click-worthy python pics on the way!

#16
Masquara7:02 am, 05 Mar 14

CT manager online would be a perfect role for JB – why the laughter? He could actually make a way, way better version of Riotact under the aegis of Fairfax. Riotact and CT have lots in common. Fairfax should be going out of their way to actively recruit JB. AND he is far more professional in terms of balanced reporting than, say, Jonathan Green on ABC.

#17
Roundhead898:17 am, 05 Mar 14

bundah said :

EvanJames said :

The CT was a good paper, right up until, the 90s? It’s hard to fathom what caused such a massive decline. A one paper town, and yet that paper still failed. And when it’s gone, I bet someone starts up a new paper, and it does OK.

Digital journalism combined with precipitous falls in advertising revenue have taken their toll on newspapers. If the crimes goes under I can’t envisage anything successfully replacing it.

The CT was a very good paper in the 1980s with Crispin Hull as editor. Inexplicably in 1991 Kerry Stokes sacked him and appointed Michelle Grattan as editor. It just went down the toilet. Grattan said she tried to turn the paper into another Washington Times but I – and other readers – didn’t want a woman as editor and we told Stokes of our disapproval. At that time Stokes was trying to get Murdoch to buy the paper – despite the fact that the predecessor of the ACCC had blocked a Murdoch takeover of the CT in early 1987. Stokes appointed the former editor of The Australian David Armstrong as editor in 1993. When it was clear Murdoch wouldn’t take over the paper Stokes sold it to Rural Press in the late 1990s.

#18
c_c™10:32 am, 05 Mar 14

Roundhead89 said :

Grattan said she tried to turn the paper into another Washington Times but I – and other readers – didn’t want a woman as editor and we told Stokes of our disapproval.

Gosh, a woman with aspirations and ideas running the joint, can’t have that can we.

This is a truly Mr G level of misogyny. If this is the calibre of people in local media, no wonder it’s such a waste land.

#19
NoImRight12:07 pm, 05 Mar 14

c_c™ said :

Roundhead89 said :

Grattan said she tried to turn the paper into another Washington Times but I – and other readers – didn’t want a woman as editor and we told Stokes of our disapproval.

Gosh, a woman with aspirations and ideas running the joint, can’t have that can we.

This is a truly Mr G level of misogyny. If this is the calibre of people in local media, no wonder it’s such a waste land.

Dont feed the trolls. Obvious troll is obvious.

#20
Queen_of_the_Bun7:39 pm, 05 Mar 14

NoImRight said :

c_c™ said :

Roundhead89 said :

Grattan said she tried to turn the paper into another Washington Times but I – and other readers – didn’t want a woman as editor and we told Stokes of our disapproval.

Gosh, a woman with aspirations and ideas running the joint, can’t have that can we.

This is a truly Mr G level of misogyny. If this is the calibre of people in local media, no wonder it’s such a waste land.

Dont feed the trolls. Obvious troll is obvious.

+1

#21
c_c™11:23 pm, 06 Mar 14

Interesting development, Noel Towell spoke of colleagues working on some hot stories, but seems those colleagues aren’t Canberra Times. Story about the public trustee fraud today (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/alleged-fraud-at-act-public-trustee-carried-out-over-seven-years-20140306-349jp.html) is credited to John Silvester, crime reporter for The Age in Melbourne.

Is the story really so big that a metro newsroom wanted to take it over? Are the CT really so short on people they had to shop a big story out interstate?

It’s interesting, wonder what it means.

#22
HiddenDragon12:29 pm, 07 Mar 14

c_c™ said :

Interesting development, Noel Towell spoke of colleagues working on some hot stories, but seems those colleagues aren’t Canberra Times. Story about the public trustee fraud today (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/alleged-fraud-at-act-public-trustee-carried-out-over-seven-years-20140306-349jp.html) is credited to John Silvester, crime reporter for The Age in Melbourne.

Is the story really so big that a metro newsroom wanted to take it over? Are the CT really so short on people they had to shop a big story out interstate?

It’s interesting, wonder what it means.

Very interesting point – I looked at the story, but didn’t take note of the byline (smacks self over wrist). Perhaps it has something to do with the the need for “the Canberra Times business to have close relationships with government…..” – either that or there’s interstate links in the alleged misdeeds in the PTO.

#23
dungfungus1:02 pm, 07 Mar 14

c_c™ said :

Interesting development, Noel Towell spoke of colleagues working on some hot stories, but seems those colleagues aren’t Canberra Times. Story about the public trustee fraud today (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/alleged-fraud-at-act-public-trustee-carried-out-over-seven-years-20140306-349jp.html) is credited to John Silvester, crime reporter for The Age in Melbourne.

Is the story really so big that a metro newsroom wanted to take it over? Are the CT really so short on people they had to shop a big story out interstate?

It’s interesting, wonder what it means.

hot story = record high temperatures.
Wasn’t this the BOM and CSIRO story earlier in the week?

#24
c_c™2:52 pm, 07 Mar 14

dungfungus said :

c_c™ said :

Interesting development, Noel Towell spoke of colleagues working on some hot stories, but seems those colleagues aren’t Canberra Times. Story about the public trustee fraud today (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/alleged-fraud-at-act-public-trustee-carried-out-over-seven-years-20140306-349jp.html) is credited to John Silvester, crime reporter for The Age in Melbourne.

Is the story really so big that a metro newsroom wanted to take it over? Are the CT really so short on people they had to shop a big story out interstate?

It’s interesting, wonder what it means.

hot story = record high temperatures.
Wasn’t this the BOM and CSIRO story earlier in the week?

Well his exact phrasing was “hot shit” indicating broader subject matter, but I prefer wording that doesn’t demean my intelligence.

#25
WillowJim4:23 pm, 07 Mar 14

c_c™ said :

Story about the public trustee fraud today is credited to John Silvester, crime reporter for The Age in Melbourne.

I know someone involved in that matter, and the story (at least, the first one) was written by a CT reporter.

There’s much more to the matter that will come out, too.

#26
c_c™5:05 pm, 07 Mar 14

WillowJim said :

c_c™ said :

Story about the public trustee fraud today is credited to John Silvester, crime reporter for The Age in Melbourne.

I know someone involved in that matter, and the story (at least, the first one) was written by a CT reporter.

There’s much more to the matter that will come out, too.

Interesting, thanks for posting.

#27
dungfungus5:12 pm, 07 Mar 14

c_c™ said :

dungfungus said :

c_c™ said :

Interesting development, Noel Towell spoke of colleagues working on some hot stories, but seems those colleagues aren’t Canberra Times. Story about the public trustee fraud today (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/alleged-fraud-at-act-public-trustee-carried-out-over-seven-years-20140306-349jp.html) is credited to John Silvester, crime reporter for The Age in Melbourne.

Is the story really so big that a metro newsroom wanted to take it over? Are the CT really so short on people they had to shop a big story out interstate?

It’s interesting, wonder what it means.

hot story = record high temperatures.
Wasn’t this the BOM and CSIRO story earlier in the week?

Well his exact phrasing was “hot shit” indicating broader subject matter, but I prefer wording that doesn’t demean my intelligence.

Maybe he meant there was another food poisoning story, this time at a curry restaurant.
That can be a much broader issue in toilet.

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