WAN boss: Paper was going in the wrong direction

The CEO of West Australian newspapers has delivered a damning review of the newspaper’s direction under its former editor Paul Armstrong – and promised to copy Rupert Murodch if News Ltd makes paid online content work as a business model.  

Chris Wharton, who was appointed by Kerry Stokes to run WAN at the beginning of the year, told Sky News: “I wasn’t very interested in the paper during the course of Paul’s editorship, just as a consumer. I read it infrequently. I’d scan it every day but it was too heavily into politics for me.

“The paper campaigned sometimes against the wrong things. One of the good things that Paul did was education stuff but even that got off the rails a little at the end. To me it wasn’t the kind of paper that I enjoyed.”

Wharton also defended Seven boss Kerry Stokes’ dominant media interests in Perth. He said: “Kerry loves Western Australia. He’s not an interfering chairman.”

And asked whether he would follow the News Ltd strategy of asking consumers to pay to access online content, Wharton said: “If they come up with a model that works, I’ll pinch it.”


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