Sunday, July 16, 2017


With media companies in North Australia  reducing  staff and shifting  into smaller premises in some  instances ,  this  large  billowing  for lease  banner  on  the Murdoch Townsville  Bulletin office  has  raised  eyebrows  and  questions.   Is  the  paper moving ,  down-sizing ? It is  not very old , built to replace the  former CBD  one found to contain asbestos .   In  recent  weeks   the  Murdoch  owned  Cairns Post  announced  three   experienced  staff members  have  departed .
One , Nick Trompf, had been with  News Corp Australia for   30 years , his latest  role general  manager of regional publishing . Two other "stalwarts" who  went  were  pictorial editor Marc McCormack ,  winner of three Walkley Awards , after  17 years,  and  sub editor Arthur Ingham , after  11 years, who had started his career in  Johannesburg  and  also worked  in  Hong Kong .   
 A while back a  sign on the small  Channel 10 studio in Townsville announced it  was   not closing,  just moving into a smaller office . This  was before   Channel 10 ran  into trouble , its   future now  uncertain . For many months  there has been a for sale sign on the  Cairns  building  in which Channel 7 is  located .
Darwin staff at Channel 9  has been  cut , evening  news   to be  compiled in Queensland. This  resulted in an angry response from locals, one   businessman suggested pulling  advertisements in protest.  In what was  seen as  a defensive  reaction to  the  threat  of  pulling  adverts , the  Murdoch Northern Territory News  said this would be counter productive to survival of  jobs and the station , perhaps fearful  that similar  protest  action could be taken against  the paper if  it scales down  operations  in  the  future ? 
 So what  is  going  on   at the Townsville Bulletin , which it is widely believed will become  a tri-weekly in the near future ?Speak  to  newsagents in   Townsville and  Cairns  and they freely admit they expect  the local Murdoch papers  to   be cut to  three  a week , there eventually being no hard copy newspapers  due to  smart  phones  and   digital  copies. 
While the  Townsville Bulletin recently  stopped  production of the free weekly Townsville  Sun , which became an insert  in the  Bulletin , the  Cairns equivalent is  still  running  as  an  insert . Both   Suns , as  was the original in Darwin  many   decades ago  ,  were  designed  to  stymie  competitors, anyone  thinking of starting  up  a new  publication .