Media bosses band together to push reform package

Staff Writer

Macquarie Media’s COO Adam Lang is among the executives representing the Australian radio industry in Canberra on Wednesday.

Lang will be joined by chiefs from News Corp, Fairfax, Seven West Media and Foxtel as they show a united front to push the media reform bill across the finish line.

The coordinated effort is unusual and while the changes have a chance of achieving the desired result, Labor is “deeply concerned” about abolishing the two-out-of-three-rule, on the grounds it would harm consumer choice, while the Greens and some independents are totally opposed to scrapping the rule.

The two-out-of-three law prohibits a single entity from owning newspapers, radio and TV in a ­single market.

In the internet age, media chiefs argue the abolishment of outdated rules will protect diversity in the Australian media environment and rival online heavyweights Google and Facebook in advertising growth as the industry becomes increasingly digitised.

Some media, in particular, TV companies, are keen for the law change to offset declining revenues and to allow them to compete more effectively with larger international companies.

Many market competitors from different commercial interests are putting new weight behind the reform package in a bid to save thousands of jobs and preserve regional services.

The media summit will be attended by PM Malcolm Turnbull and communications minister Mitch Fifield, with formal addresses from Michael Miller (News Corp Australia), Tim Worner (Seven West Media), Greg Hywood (Fairfax Media) and Peter Tonagh (Foxtel), as well as MRN’s Lang.

Seven Network’s David Koch will host the event.

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