Media Satchel

Bits and (Anna Wintour) bobs from the media beat...
Most talked-about covers: Osama bin Laden out at TIME, Lily Collins for Tatler, Katy Perry for Vanity Fair
It's been quite the week in Australian media – no need for page fillers between the Royal Wedding, the Logies, Osama bin Laden's assassination, Rosemount Australian Fashion Week and media org profit (and loss) reporting. Phew. Elsewhere, the Met Ball, Martin Luther King Jnr's misquote, Kate Middleton's Photoshopped Grazia cover and Fairfax feuds have set tongues wagging. Catch up after the jump...

- Stop the presses; update online. News sites "experienced a major spike in traffic following the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed," reports WWD. "The news was first reported on Twitter, confirmed by the White House and, ever since, news sites have shown no signs of slowing down." Why did Australia's ABC drag its tail? "The ABC, under Mark Scott, is caught in a tech-savvy, Sydney social media bubble," writes Caroline Overington of The Australian, who gave us a blow-by-blow on the Obama story as it unfolded this week. "Let’s just stick the news on ABC New 24, and online, because surely everyone knows how to stream it on their iPhone?"

c/o The Daily Mail
- The Costume Institute Gala at the Met has been met with the usual fanfare one would expect when pretty celebrities and fashiony types and Anna Wintour (pictured with fellow Brits Stella McCartney and Sarah Burton) are involved. reports "this year, the fashion world's biggest party took a bittersweet, more deeply felt turn inward, organizing itself around the work and memory of the late Alexander McQueen." WWD reported: "There was also a heavy British contingent, among them Kate Winslet, Christopher Bailey, Sir Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Daphne Guinness and, naturally, McQueen designer Sarah Burton, who wore an all-white dress — perhaps her way to remind people that she designed the royal gown. The designer, who’s been press shy since the wedding, would not broach the subject, or any for that matter." Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld for a sobering comment: "I am here for a fashion event, not for a memorial," he said. "That’s all now over. Hopefully there are no speeches, because life goes on." Similarly, I'm still unsure why the fashion world is so obsessed with misogynists, particularly those who insist on shoehorning women's bodies into impossibly restrictive frocks.

- Also accused of misogyny, another Brit: UK Grazia magazine, which has reportedly trimmed an already slimmed Duchess of Cambridge's waist for its bridal cover: the headline 'Arise McQueen Kate'. Apt, indeed. 

New Idea special on sale today.
- Still, the royal wedding has meant bumper sales for women's magazines, reports Sally Jackson for The Australian. "It just goes to show that people love a good news story and especially a love story," says Women's Weekly editor Helen McCabe of her sell-out royal edition (my newsagency gets a new delivery on Monday). Additionally, Pacific Magazines' New Idea will be publishing a one-shot, 100-page souvenir magazine on Friday for $9.95 a pop. The wedding has also proved a boost to newspaper sales with Mediaweek Australia reporting sales of the Melbourne Herald-Sun were up 50,000 copies on Saturday, and spiked again on Tuesday after Osama bin Laden's death. "Whoever says newspapers are dying certainly doesn’t understand the appetite of Victorians  for the Herald Sun’s coverage of major news events," said editor in chief of The Herald & Weekly Times Phil Gardner said.

- Who wrote the fake Martin Luther King Jnr quote that went viral this week? WSJ has an update.

Logies 'Most Popular New Talent' winner Chrissie Swan of The Circle attracted more than its share of unfair attention for her Gold Logie nomination. TV Week publisher Peter Holder tells Mediaweek: "there is no way Chrissie Swan's biggest fan, or her publicity people at Ten, could get her more votes by going online repeatedly. Every vote is audited and accompanied by a name and address...You can't get better people to run it than Roy Morgan Research and better auditors than Ernst & Young...a lot of the criticism often comes from people who may not have won a Logie or who have often missed out on a Gold." Spoil sports.

- Fairfax Media has courted controversy this week after revealing the planned outsourcing of its sub-editing to Pagemasters. After meeting with Fairfax management to orchestrate a compromise, rejected by chief executive Greg Hywood, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance has revealed it's taking the matter to industrial mediator Fair Work Australia. Media Alliance federal secretary Christopher Warren said in an official press release: "Fairfax management need to demonstrate that they are willing to deal in good faith with their journalists who want no more than to investigate alternative strategies to the one proposed this week. The company’s plan would not only see hundreds of dedicated employees losing their jobs, we believe it would seriously damage the newspapers, leading to a decline in quality which will drive away readers and weaken the company." (See also: Strikes Loom at Fairfax c/o The Australian)

- In light of the cut-backs, Fairfax revenue is down.
Deutsche Bank analyst Andrew Anagnostellis told The Australian that Fairfax was struggling after rapid change in the industry and underinvestment in digital platforms “at a time when there are few realistic transformational acquisition opportunities”, after trying to improve operating performance in recent years through different chief executives and strategic directions.

- But with no Avatar saviour, litigation costs and new digital masthead The Daily yet to kick in its fair share of revenue, profits at News Corporation were also down in the third quarter, year-on-year and period-on-period. (SMH; The Australian; WSJ

- Regional publisher APN News and Media Ltd also plans to restructure its operations after the strong Australian dollar, Queensland floods and New Zealand earthquake severely eroded first half earnings. (Mediaweek)

- Steele Tallon has been appointed to the newly-created position of head of news at The Courier-Mail. In his new role, the former Geelong Advertiser editor will oversee the news content of The Courier-Mail and its digital products. He will be number three in the editorial structure of The Courier-Mail and report to the editor, Michael Crutcher. Mr Tallon’s appointment represents a return home for the Queensland journalist who has spent the past four years working in Adelaide and Geelong. His return comes as The Courier-Mail moves into a new 21st century newsroom designed to serve the continuous news cycle. Editor-in-chief of News Queensland, David Fagan, said he was delighted by the return of a home-grown talent to such an important role in Queensland's number one newspaper. "The Courier-Mail has traditionally set the news agenda in Queensland and the creation of this role - along with the transformation of our newsroom structure - will ensure we stay ahead of the game," he said. "Steele is a talented journalist, committed to the standards we value. His energy will add value to our products." (Source: News Limited)

- Applications for trainee journalist positions across News Limited's Victorian mastheads are open, reports Media Diary.

- The Media Federation of Australia this week launched the 2011 Media Federation Awards. Now in its 13th year, the purpose of the MFA Awards is to showcase the finest thinking and solutions in media practice that have contributed to the success of an advertising campaign.

- The Wall Street Journal is the largest US newspaper with an average weekday circulation of 2.1 million, followed by USA Today with 1.8 million and The New York Times with 900,000+, according to the US Audit Bureau of Circulations, which released newspaper circulation figures on Monday for the six months through March. The Times has the most circulation on Sundays, with 1.3 million. (Mediaweek)

- "Television news has never been more superficial and quality journalism has never been harder, ABC veteran Kerry O'Brien tells Tim Dick at SMH. On that note, The Sydney Morning Herald has made Tim Dick its media and marketing editor. Dick replaced Julian Lee a couple of weeks ago. Lee is now at the Fairfax owned media site The National Times

- In other new(ish) media appointments, Paul Whittaker (former editor of The Australian) has been appointed editor of The Daily Telegraph reporting to John Hartigan (during a baptism of fire media week); Clive Mathieson, the deputy editor of The Australian has been promoted to editor replacing Whittaker, reporting to The Australian’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell; and Alan Oakley has been appointed to the new role of editorial strategy director of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph.

Digital design expert Matthew Carlson discusses how magazines can break out of the box with the iPad. Watch the clip at Australian Newsagency Blog. The blog also has extensive coverage of this week's royal wedding magazine blitz.
Girl With a Satchel