Gina, Fairfax and the Vulture.
I have, [like I am sure pretty much every small publisher with an online news site and blog has] been watching the past 24 hours VERY closely when it comes to Fairfax. As much as it sucks that thousands of people will lose their jobs from Fairfax [and we have heard the same will be happening at News Ltd] – I must confess that I did somewhat get excited by the hype and like a vulture began circling their business looking at the weak spots – where do the opportunities lie for me in the situation?
Well right now nobody really likes her do they. What is her plan? She is taking over the media to push her own agenda!!! – Introducing The Sydney Mining Herald [as someone put it yesterday]. Let’s be honest Gina might be a greedy, power hungry billionaire, but she is not a dick brain. You don’t get to be the richest women in the world by being stupid. I don’t know her reasons for wanting a seat on the board of Fairfax, but I do know she understands the business basics that the media makes money from readers, viewers and listeners, so I don’t think it will turn into an episode of Animal Farm just yet.
At the end of the day they are a business and if they don’t restructure they will die. Simple. Then everyone will lose their jobs – and their news. They have a huge name in the industry, and they are shifting towards not just a more digital approach with their news, but a more targeted approach as well. They are not stupid either, they know they are behind when it comes to being the masters of online content, they know what blogs and independent sites are rating highly and the extra cash flow will be used to purchase these over the next few years.
The changes in the media landscape represent vast opportunities for the savvy content entrepreneur. Not to mention many of the journo’s with high profiles will no doubt be starting sites of their own – and many of them already have a large social following, so quite a few will be big successes.
Over the next 24 months though, before all the redundancies take place and things start closing down, it allows small publications like this one to go hard, build solid engaged readership, introduce a couple more titles and be smart and agile about the hiring process and outgoing costs. It is no secret that my intention with Shoe String Media Group is to one day sell it, and Fairfax is moving in the direction that we have been going in since the beginning.
For the ambitious media startup this frenzy is like the African Plains my friends, and we are circling scoping out where the blind spots are on that tasty tasty elephant carcass.