STORMY weather is due to hit Melbourne later this afternoon, leaving just a brief window to squeeze in a quick nine holes. Back later, after the round and a stop on the way home at the tackle shop, where a few bits and pieces need to be picked up in preparation for an upcoming expedition, probably to the Snowy and some of its upper tributaries.
By the way, congratulations to newly installed Australian Financial Review supremo Michael Stutchbury, whose Saturday edition has gained a 3.7% circulation increase. The weekly editions shrunk, but the weekend gain suggests the paper's policy of re-tailoring content to its audience's taste may actually be producing results. If you wrote off the AFR under its previous leader, it is worth taking another look. The changes are not huge, but a sharpening edge is apparent in its coverage of, amongst other things, industrial relations. If this trend keeps up, the paper may well go from a once- or twice-a-week purchase to daily delivery at the Billabong.
The news at the Phage is terrible -- losses of around 6% -- and at the Silly, even worse, unless chalking up the largest single shrinkage of any newspaper in the nation is cause for celebration at Fairfax World Headquarters. For those interested, the latest numbers for all of Australia's print media can be found here and Tim Blair also has some thoughts.
Any professional journalists, especially Fairfax ones, who feel inclined to share their perspectives on what ails their employer's broadsheets should feel free to do so in comments. They will be posted later today.