Power pair in furious agreement
The Guardian website has reported that “revenue at the Australian mastheads run by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp fell by 6% last year, and the company’s pay TV operation, Foxtel, has also been hit by falling subscriber numbers”.
Like any casual observer, The Bug has noticed for some time now that the print edition of Rupert’s favourite mouthpiece, our only national broadsheet tabloid The Australian, is usually bereft of paid advertisements.
On some days entire pages and entire sections of the paper are totally devoid of real ads.
Sometimes a scattering of in-house advertisements pleading with readers to take out a subscription to The Oz or support some event sponsored by the newspaper do appear to give the illusion of advertising support.
In addition to those, we have noticed the appearance in a number of editions of The Oz over the past week of big, bold, half-page ads for one of the “after dark” offerings of Sky News (available through Foxtel) starring shock jock and former Liberal Party operative, Alan Jones, and former, current, and future Liberal Party operative Peta Credlin.
The two supposedly heavy-hitters beam out from the page (main picture) enticing readers to subscribe and tune their TVs to see and hear “opinions you can’t ignore”.
Certainly on the few occasions when The Bug has tuned in we found that neither Jones nor Credlin can ignore the opinion of the other.
The format appears to us to consist entirely of having one of the dynamic due spend some time loudly proclaiming their right-wing view on a given issue, with the other following up and proclaiming the same right-wing view on the same issue equally loudly.
The Sky News ads in The Oz for this and others programs in its line-up seem to us to just draw a spotlight to the failure of both The Oz and Foxtel et al to attract subscribing eyeballs.
Clearly it’s a failure to meet their market — a commercial sin that The Oz might otherwise condemn in others.
All’s right with the world
Perhaps the advertising and revenue woes of Murdoch outlets has something to do with their overt right-wing bias.
That was on display in The Weekend Australian which devoted several yarns to the Australian Conservative Political Action Conference held in Sydney.
The conference, a right-wing love-fester-in, was given prominent coverage (pictured) with a page 2 news story about controversial former Breitbart editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam, a page 7 news story courtesy of Tony Abbott and his well-know views on abortion, as well as (of course) a lengthy comment piece by Janet Albrechtsen that came with a front-page pointer.
Do the folks at The Oz not see a connection between their constant right-wing content and declining ad numbers and revenue?
It seems not even the recent comments by former editor-in-chief of The Australian, David Armstrong, have caused any introspection at Holt Street HQ.
For those who don’t know, Armstrong recently revealed he was cancelling his subscription to The Oz.
“I thought, do I really need so many right-wing columnists in my life? I know I don’t have to read them all but if I subscribe, I have to pay for them,” he explained.
How to get used to being used
Okay, okay! No need to write in or send us a message. We know that there’s nothing at all wrong with this splash in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.
But we are looking forward to the follow-up article in its sister paper tomorrow that explains what Star Casino sends now.
At the very least, the heading shows how hard it must be to master English as a second language. To those who have done sew and got it rite, we say simply: “Take a bough. We know watt you’ve bean threw.”
A miracle birth
But we’re on safer ground with this gem a little further into today’s SMH.
Buried right down in the first leg of a yarn on an 80-year-old bloke called Monck who did the lighting at Woodstock 50 years ago was the shocking revelation that both he and his mother were born in Massachusetts in the same year.