The Australian media landscape is not balanced enough and one or two large companies may be too dominant in the public discourse. This problem has been highlighted by the Neilson inquiry, which is due to report this August. Proposals to make it more diverse, including financial assistance for start-up organisations, are being considered. The problem is that one or two people own a majority of the news media in Australia. In Queensland, the Murdoch press owns all the daily newspapers.
The Australian, one of the most influential Australian newspapers, was first launched by News Limited in 1964. It was based in Canberra but Rupert Murdoch considered it one of the world’s leading newspapers. He was able to achieve success with the publication despite losing $30 million in the first 20 years. While the publication was initially typeset and printed in Canberra, in 1967 it moved to Sydney. Murdoch’s involvement with the Australian media industry did not stop there. He later switched the political allegiance of the newspaper to Labor and bought the Melbourne television station.
The merger of Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment in July 2018 was described as a major shake-up of the Australian media industry. The merger was criticised by the then Minister for Communications, Mitch Fifield, and Shadow Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland. Both spokespeople claimed the move would lead to greater concentration in the industry. While some media academics felt that the merger would be a positive change for Australian media, others were concerned that it would undermine competition.
News Limited was founded in 1923 and is part of the Collins Group, an Australian mining empire. It was initially owned by James Edward Davidson, who purchased the Broken Hill Barrier Miner, the Port Pirie Recorder, and the Adelaide Mail. In 1949, he bought a minority stake in the company. Later, he died, leaving his son Rupert to inherit the company.
Its annual reports revealed that News Limited was suffering from significant losses. In 1989, the company claimed losses of 202 million, while losses of 83 million were reported in 1990. While overall profits of the group were identical in the two reports, the company was able to reduce the size of its losses by reorganizing its subsidiaries. The company attributed a fifth of its profits to tax havens in 1989, while in 1990, its tax rate was 54.5 percent.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited empire started in Australia and now has over 140 titles in the country. The company has a diversified business model with publishing and entertainment interests. Currently, it publishes a variety of newspapers and magazine titles, including major tabloids on the east coast, as well as the national broadsheet, The Australian.
Nine Entertainment Co
In a landmark move in Australian media, Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment Co are merging to form a $4.2 billion integrated media group. The combined business will be the largest independent media group in the country. Nine and Fairfax will combine their broadcasting, news, entertainment, and digital businesses to create an industry-leading media entity. The combined business will include the free-to-air television network Nine, as well as all print and online publications, including Fairfax’s The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
Nine Entertainment Co is a publicly-listed media company specializing in television, radio, and digital media. The company has four main operating divisions: free-to-air television activities, metropolitan media, digital media, and radio. It also has international operations. The company operates in a variety of sectors and markets, including Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Nine’s new corporate structure is aimed at strengthening its network of local and regional TV stations. It is also aiming to improve the diversity of its content. As part of this strategy, Nine has sold the Nine Live division to Affinity Equity Partners for $640 million. This sale helped reduce the company’s debt and fund its capital management program. Affinity also purchased a 14% stake in Nine Entertainment Co from Apollo.
Nine Network has undergone a rebranding process since 2006. The logo was redesigned on 30 January 2006 to coincide with the network’s 50th anniversary. The new logo was accompanied by the slogan “weTV”. It was first used in the Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane markets, before being adopted in the Adelaide and Perth markets. Afterwards, Nine’s Perth and Adelaide markets were rebranded under WIN Corporation.
Nine’s television lineup includes a variety of domestic and international programs. Its flagship program is The Big Bang Theory, which has a worldwide audience. Other programs include Chicago Med, documentary series The First 48, and crime dramas Law & Order: True Crime and Law & Order: Organized Crime. Nine also broadcasts coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The company recently announced half-year results that show revenue of $1.2 billion, group EBITDA of $249 million, and net profit after tax of $114 million. This compares with its statutory net profit of $102 million and net profit after minority interests of $115 million. The results show that Nine Entertainment is part of the Australian media industry and is doing well.