As Gina Rinehart continues to increase her stake and demands more board places at beleaguered Fairfax, a leading media analyst says that their flagship paper The Age and the SMH are worthless:
THE Fairfax Media unit that runs the company’s flagship newspapers is now worthless, according to a leading analyst.
And the radical cost-cutting program unveiled this week may not be enough to revive the publishing and broadcasting company, industry experts say.
Deutsche Bank media analyst Andrew Anagnostellis has told investors th at Metro Publishing – the Fairfax unit that publishes The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald – has “nil value”.
He issued the warning yesterday as Fairfax shares tumbled 8.5 per cent, surrendering Monday’s gains.
It came as the deadlock between Fairfax directors and mining magnate Gina Rinehart continued, and amid forecasts from insiders that the media group would yield to her demands.
Mrs Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, is asking for three seats on the Fairfax board but will not agree to follow the group’s charter of editorial independence.
The stand-off is heaping more pressure on the board, which on Monday unveiled a dramatic restructure. It will cut 1900 jobs, introduce a subscriptions for websites, change its broadsheet newspapers to tabloids and shut the Tullamarine printing press among other measures.