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 A sign of the times for conservative broadcasters?

08.10.19. The media company Nine has now purchased near total control of its operation that includes Macquarie Media in which broadcaster Alan Jones has a one per cent share. In August Macquarie CEO Adam Lang muttered that Jones and Hadley should be shoved out to make way for younger and more left-wing voices. If Nine intends to fill the airwaves with Leftist babble from where will conservative views come? There is a sizable market for conservative listeners and their advertisers. A new conservative radio station? Another arm for Sky News?
Veteran investor Mark Carnegie believes in the power of radio, but has told The Australian the time was right to sell out to Nine. His comments came as Nine moved past a 90 per cent stake in Macquarie Media on Monday, allowing it to forge ahead with compulsory acquisition of the radio station owner’s remaining shares. Mr Carnegie said he had “no option” other than to sell out at the $1.46 share price. 

Source: Lilly Vitorovich, News Corp

Mark Carnegie sells stake, paves way for Nine to control Macquarie Media

“I think it’s going to be a great deal for Nine, but we didn’t have any other options,” Mr Carnegie said.
“I think radio is a really, really powerful medium. I think news talk radio is a particularly powerful medium and I think it fits well with Nine.”
Mr Carnegie’s decision to offload his stake in Macquarie Media, which is home to Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, saw Nine’s voting power increase to 92.80 per cent.
It came just weeks after advertising veteran John ‘‘Singo’’ Singleton offloaded his 32.2 per cent stake.
Mr Jones, who owns 1 per cent of Macquarie Media, was also expected to accept Nine’s offer, which expires on October 14, according to Mr Singleton.
Nine inherited its controlling 54.5 per cent stake in Macquarie Media, which owns stations 2GB, 3AW, 4BC, 6PR and Macquarie Sports Radio, as part of its $4bn merger with Fairfax Media in December, and needed to get to 90 per cent to secure full control of the broadcaster.
However, its $1.46 a share offer was at the bottom of an independent expert’s report value range of $1.44 to $1.66 a share,with influential fund manager Geoff Wilson demanding a better deal for minority shareholders.
Wilson Asset Management, which holds a 4.7 per cent stake in Macquarie Media, has been agitating for a higher bid, with Mr Wilson recently writing to Nine boss Hugh Marks and Macquarie Media’s three independent board committee members demanding a better deal for minority shareholders.
Mr Wilson on Monday told The Australian Wilson Asset Management was awaiting a response from Macquarie Media’s independent board committee and independent expert PricewaterhouseCoopers to chairman Mr Wilson’s second letter, which raised several concerns about Nine’s target statement.
“We are awaiting the reply from the IBC and independent expert to our letter,” Mr Wilson told The Australian after Mr Carnegie’s decision to offload his stake. “On our analysis it appears the target statement may be defective. Once we have all the facts we will make our decision.”
A Nine spokeswoman declined to respond to Mr Wilson’s comments.
Meanwhile, Mr Marks said the group is “very pleased to reach this milestone”, as management looks to consolidate its position across television, digital, print and radio.
“We believe strongly in the power of the talk-radio network and the ability, dedication and professionalism of its people,” he said in a statement.
“To the Macquarie team for now it is business as usual. As we move through the final stages of completion of the transaction, I look forward to working with the team. We will work to ensure they have the support, infrastructure and clarity to be able to do what they do best.”
Nine’s $1.46 a share offer values Macquarie Media at $275.4m, with Nine paying $113.9m for the remaining 45.5 per cent stake.
Nine said the acquisition would be funded from cash reserves and existing debt facilities, and forecasts synergies of more than $10m, “mainly from combining support and administrative functions, and taking out some corporate costs such as ASX listing fees”. The deal is tipped to be completed by the end of the year.
Nine has also sold three Fairfax Media businesses, selling its 75 per cent stake in weather information group Weatherzone to US-based analysis firm DTN for an undisclosed sum last week.
The company, which is chaired by Peter Costello, has carved up the events business inherited from Fairfax, and offloaded its regional publishing operations, Australian Community Media, to Antony Catalano and Alex Waislitz’s Thorney Investment Group for $125m. However, Nine is struggling to sell its operations in New Zealand, also inherited from the Fairfax deal.
Mr Carnegie also holds a 10 per stake in Manboom, a signage firm operating around Sydney Airport, along with property developer Robert Whyte and Mr Singleton, who hold 50 per cent and 30 per cent stakes, respectively. The rest was owned by a few other people, he said.
He owns a 27 per cent stake in group discount website One Big Switch, through his fund M.H. Carnegie & Co, along with News Corp, the publisher of The Australian.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Cliff 08/10/2019, 6:55 am

    I think the little old ladies and tradies will desert 2GB in droves. While I don’t fit into either of those categories, I strongly suspect that I’ll follow them. My community FM radio already gets a bit more of my time lately, with George and Paul fast becoming the last hold out of common sense.

    If some new start AM station could poach George and Paul as well as Paul Murray, Chris Kenny and Rita Panahi and two or three other like-minded youngsters (for a bit of ‘the younger generation’), it would be a threat for the top ratings slot within a few years.

    Hadley, I’m ambivalent about. He’s ‘gone safe’ and is keeping clear of most things even borderline controversial since the contract renewal. I think I am not the only one getting a bit tired of the preponderance of country and western singers he now uses as his ‘cutting edge’ guests.

    • Albert 08/10/2019, 8:45 am

      Your dream of a new AM station is dead in the water, Cliff. We will be lucky indeed if Sky News remains in charge of common sense for very much longer.

      • Graham Richards 08/10/2019, 7:29 pm

        Watch Sky News UK! They’re running a very close to the BBC !
        I’d put them on par with our local ABC. Early morning ABC & SBS also broadcast the Marxist news from DW in Germany, France 24 & of course Al Jazeera.
        The bias of all the above is quite sickening.
        If you’re looking for commonsense the only one to watch is Fox News. from USA. No wonder they’re the top rated news source in USA.

    • Xword 08/10/2019, 9:37 am

      Plus hilarious and cutting edge new lyrics to old standards that get flogged by Mr H. Funny as a toothache IMOH

  • ibbit 08/10/2019, 8:25 am

    Those of us who believe in older, conservative views which incorporated self-discipline, a strong work, ethic respect for others and property – and there are many will be bereft if conservative voices are forced out radio. There will be consequences for business, and above all for government who sit by and let the increasing disintegration of democracy, fair-play and decency moulder and die and they might not like it to well.

  • Captain Outrageous 08/10/2019, 8:35 am

    Soros?

    • DT 08/10/2019, 5:11 pm

      Substantial shareholder stake in Channel 9 for many years to date.

  • Lorraine 08/10/2019, 8:44 am

    I have not listen to ABC radio for years. In the Wimmera where I live it is the easiest to tune in to. I have not missed the lefty nerds and when push comes to shove others will tune out as well. Conservatives can pick a lefty in a millisecond.

  • Penguinite 08/10/2019, 8:51 am

    Don’t disregard the internet for appropriate US radio stations. Nothing to stop Jones and co subletting some airwaves from somewhere where conservatism is alive and well. At least for now! Remember when The US is asleep they could lease some very low cost airtime for an appreciative Australian audience!

    • ibbit 08/10/2019, 5:45 pm

      I call the music Hadley plays – Hadley’s dreadful music which most of it is. Get a few pearls now and then, but not often enough to think the music is nice.

  • ibbit 08/10/2019, 5:46 pm

    Some time ago I commented that it looked as it the left has won in Australia. Some above seem to agree because if conservative voices go, what then?

  • Tony H 09/10/2019, 11:41 pm

    I have Been long time listener to talk radio since returning to Sydney in 1987. As a security guard working shifts mostly by myself I found it company and assuring that many people were thinking as I. That radio announcers were articulating my thoughts on many issues. I became an avid listener. My favourites were Alan Jones and Brian Wilshire and Chris Smith. They tried to sack Wilshire a few times once while he was on leave. But his midnight match maker segment kept him in the job and what was bemusing was that he made many dollars for his station via advertising. He obviously won many enemies that wanted him silenced he taught me about the NWO and many things he warned of have come to pass.
    Also Jones his commentary is second to none his ability to assess and decipher many issues and speak so eloquently on many issues is amazing. Of course he is hated by the rabid left and his support of Tony Abbott won me quickly. But he needs to look after his health and having been severely ill a few times in the last few years worries me.
    Chris Smith who can forget his support of the convoy of no confidence that rolled into Canberra and so upset the precious petal Gillard was amazing! Of course Smith then earns many enemies as a result. His sacking ( yes it was a sacking) will be partly the undoing of 2GB. Listeners are not stupid! Jones et al will be quickly rehoused elsewhere and that station who ever they will be will be the beneficiaries, while 2GB will go the way of the Do Do Bird with their Congo line of failed on air so called talent getting gigs on radio. Anyone who had the misfortune of listening to that stupid bitch that was given the gig of the morning show in 9 would have been like me and turned her off while she was filling in on afternoons. Give me a freakin break! What amazes me is these wanker execs that draw hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages for making these ludicrous decisions.

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