Carnegie: ‘Media law changes will do nothing’

Staff Writer

Macquarie Radio shareholder Mark Carnegie has told the Fairfax press that any changes to media ownership laws would be rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Carnegie, who is John Singletons business partner, said that if the Federal Government loosened laws, this would not guarantee survival of traditional media companies. 

''The whole thing here is that the media that people talk about is becoming smaller and smaller and smaller, compared to the media that is Seek, and REA. They get on with making money day after day.''

Despite that, Carnegie has repeated his view that a Fairfax Radio merger of some kind with Macquarie Radio is desirable. Following the collapse of discussions between the groups, and the subsequent war of words, Carnegie and Singleton sold down their small shareholding in Fairfax Media.

Speaking about the television sector, Carnegie stated that he did not see how Australian television stations could prevent content being sourced by viewers elsewhere before it is broadcast in this country.

He said that is was impossible for them to "create a walled garden" to keep out content.

The Seven Network last week released a statement to the market saying that they were not in discussions with Fairfax, this follows a previous announcement where CEO Tim Worner (left) said that even if laws changed, acquiring Prime Media was "not a priority".

Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is on the record as saying that he is sympathetic to the removal the reach rule, which would open the door for a number of potential mergers or takeovers. Despite this, any changes will be likely to be some time away.


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