Mia Freedman: News Limited is dropping my column for business reasons

telegraph mamamiaMia Freedman’s Sunday newspaper column has been axed with half of her contract to run because her website is competitive with News Limited, the journalist has suggested.

The axing came less than a year after News Limited poached Freedman from Fairfax, where she had written a column for a decade.

Freedman also owns her own website which has become a major online player in its own right. In a post on Mamamia, Freedman said that she received a call dropping the column on Friday.

She wrote: “It was all unexpected actually, having been pursued by News Ltd for two years before I agreed to resign from Fairfax (where I had been writing a column for 10 happy years) and with the news coming less than halfway through my contract.

Freedman said that she understood that newspapers are being forced to make heavy cutbacks, but suggested it was also due to other factors. She said:

“But I also understand this is not just about cost cutting. I’ve heard for some time now that there are some at News Ltd not happy about the idea of their newspapers promoting me and Mamamia, who they now view as competition to some of their business interests – particularly online and magazines. Thus the ‘new strategy’ I hear will soon be implemented for more internal cross promotion.”

“Fair enough. Business is business and they must look after their own. On a commercial level I understand that. On a personal one however, it’s harder….”

She said that the column would end “in a few months”.

Freedman’s column is nationally syndicated across the company’s five main Sunday papers – The Sunday Telegraph in NSW, the Sunday Herald Sun in Victoria, The Sunday Mail in Queensland, the Sunday Mail in South Australia and The Sunday Times in Western Australia – suggesting that a decision will have come from a senior level within News Limited.

Since Freedman was appointed, changing circumstances have included the arrival of Kim Williams as the new CEO of News Limited and the reduction of speculation that the company might be about to buy Mamamia.


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