Kerry Packer Debates The Friends Of Fairfax

In November 1991, Conrad Black was aiming to take over the Fairfax media company.

Black, a Canadian media magnate, eventually gained control of Fairfax in 1993. His Hollinger group controlled 25% of Fairfax and Kerry Packer’s PBL controlled 15%.

The takeover was made possible after Fairfax went into receivership following the disastrous reign of “young” Warwick Fairfax.

Black ultimately sold his holdings in the face of foreign ownership restrictions.

In this interview on Channel 9’s A Current Affair in November 1991, Kerry Packer confronts representatives of the Friends of Fairfax in a studio debate. The debate is chaired by ACA’s host, Jana Wendt. Packer is questioned by Fairfax journalists Tom Burton, Kenneth Davidson and Alan Kennedy.

Twenty-two years later, it is remarkable to note that even though ACA had their boss on the program, they were nevertheless doing serious current affairs broadcasting.

At one stage (around the 10 minute mark) Packer makes a prescient observation about the future of newspapers.

The segment was aired in November 1991 but I’m not sure of the precise date.


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