Respected journalist Ben Hills wrote a long and fascinating piece for Good Weekend – published March 28 – that looked at Bauer media, the business formerly known as ACP. Hills was thorough in his research – I know because of questions he put to me as part of the research.
The article is something newsagents should read as it takes us behind the scenes and provides some fascinating direct quotes like:
Tony Sarno, who resigned as editor of Bauerʼs two technology titles before the magazines were sold last year, believes the writing was already on the wall before the takeover was consummated. “When Yvonne came out we were told to have our ofﬁces all scrubbed up and clean and tidy,” he says. “We were told she was in the building… and then nothing happened. She never arrived (to visit us). It was all very disappointing, but I now think that they couldnʼt give a shit about the menʼs titles and technology. They are not interested in fostering an Australian magazine culture, just in rehashing all the stuff they have from overseas.” He says that on one occasion, when an editor asked how they were supposed to translate an article from German she was told to try Google.
While it will be a while yet before any reasonable assessment can be made of the purchase of ACP by Bauer, those affected by the purchase – employees, former employees, suppliers and newsagents – all have an opinion on how its going. This article by Ben Hills will get people thinking about their own perspective.