Sydney bureau closes


Yes, as Besa reported here on Sime’s site I am ankling Variety : April 12 is my last day after a cumulative total of nearly 23 years with the paper: the last 12 in Oz, and before that five and a half years in London. In my first stint, succeeding Miha as the Sydney bureau chief, I logged five years. As Besa wrote, the powers-that-be have decided to shift the Asia-Pacific headquarters to Hong Kong. They said they can no longer afford to maintain the Sydney bureau after nearly 30 years.

This is a sad occasion for my colleague Jane Ryan (who has been here 16 years) and me; and moreover it doesn’t send a great message to the Australian entertainment industry
given the profile and involvement we’ve had all this time – starting with Miha as the foundation bureau chief.

Simon Foster, our ad-sales manager for the past three years, stays on to handle ad sales for Oz/NZ. I’m told an Australian correspondent will be appointed; I don’t know who that will be.

I’ve been bowled over by emails and calls from more than 250 people in Oz, the U.S., Asia and Europe, from colleagues, former colleagues, and industry execs whom I’ve known for many years. Most expressed shock and disbelief and offered their support and encouragement. It was good to hear from Frank Segers, Hy Hollinger, Sid Adilman and Lee Simkins.

I have no immediate plans except to talk to as many people as possible to explore job opportunities . . . and, I guess, get used to not getting up at 5am to be in the office by 6!

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