Reports of our death have been exaggerated
Geographically speaking, it could not have been more fitting. With a view directly onto James Packer's Sydney Park Street offices, HarperCollins - owned by News Corporation - was the scene of the launch of Killing Fairfax: Packer, Murdoch & The Ultimate Revenge, on Tuesday morning.
And what a ground zero of media bigwigs the venue was for author Pamela Williams. James Packer, with sister Gretel and mother Ros in tow, and Lachlan Murdoch with wife Sarah, were joined by Seven scion Ryan Stokes and flag bearers from across the Australian print - and digital - mediascape.
Might Fairfax have been an "Aussie Apple", opined former Financial Review and Age editor Alan Kohler (and now operator of a rival business website owned by News Ltd), who officially launched the book to the packed room. James Packer, heads above most of the crowd, smiled throughout, flushing a shade of puce, biting his lip and laughing when Mr Kohler plunged - with obvious glee - into the now-infamous anecdote about Mr Packer telling former Fairfax chief executive Fred Hilmer to "f--- off". Rictus or not, he maintained a grin until the final applause, when he swiftly reached for a swig of champagne.
Mr Packer was unguarded about his emotions towards Fairfax, saying it was nothing but "hatred" that drove him to acquire stakes in seek.com, realestate.com.au and carsales .com.au, now worth billions of dollars.
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