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 .