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  1. #1
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    Q & A with MeMock (starting a business)

    Hey MeMock I was just thinking the other day, how did you actually get invovled with your newspaper business? Did you build it from scratch, did you have experience already in papers? What gave you the idea, drive?

    Initial funds? would you do it again? dont most businesses fail in the first year? Did yours almost go under? How old were you when you started? Support from your family? Or did they think you were mad??

  2. #2
    I am in Jail

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    and why havnt you posted in the eating pussy thread, memock?

  3. #3
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    Hi KW.

    I had always wanted to get into the media business with TV my highest priority followed by radio and then newspapers/magazines.

    Living in a small town in outback Australia my TV opportuities were non exsistant, local radio consisted of an Aboriginal station (I was white and therefore apart from some work experience and volunteer work was not allowed to get a job there) and the ABC (experience needed) so that was radio out as well.

    This left the local newspaper.

    I got to know the new manager of the paper and between us we came up with a plan to convince the board of directors to give me a job. I was 17.

    I worked for free one day a week selling advertising and after a month of doing that showed them how much I had made for the company so they put me on full time.

    Did that for a year or three then swapped into the commercial printing side of things. A new manager took over and I started seeing through him quickly. He was a crook and a deviant and I didn't want anything to do with him. I told the directors what I thought and they didn't really believe me so I left and took off around Australia for 6 months. I got 3/4 of the way around and was asked to come back as a temp manager as they were planning to sack the crook and I was the only one the trusted.

    I was 21 and was shit scared and at that stage the company had been making a loss for a few years. I figured I couldn't do any worse and all that driving around the country had given me some ideas on how to make it run better so I said Yes.

    Within 2 years it was making a profit and within another few years I bought the company. With added interest now being the owner we hit a purple patch and started doing really well. The 14 hour days with shifts sometimes going 30 hours straight were paying dividends.

    I then got married and had kids and my priorities all of a sudden did a complete turn around. A large media corporation had been been sniffing around for years offering to buy me out and so 10 years after starting as Manager and 14 years at the paper I gave them a price and 4 months later I was out of the paper game!

    Because I started off as Manager and turned it into a profitable paper before buying it I have never really had the stress of it almost going under like you asked.

    We had two different papers start up in opposition during this time and both of them lasted less then a year.

    Would I do it again? Yes but just without the hours! It was an exciting time in my life and has set the course for the rest of my life. I just don't think I would do it in a small town again though. Too many people want and expect your time. Every edition that hit the streets would either make someone very happy or someone so angry it beggared belief. I don't miss that part of it at all!
    News is what someone, somewhere is trying to suppress - everything else is just advertising.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Interesting... I didn't know you are (or were) in the media business MeMock.

    We have more in common than just rating New Zealand a better place to live than Australia.

  5. #5
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    You learn something new everyday! Dunno about your second sentence though!

    All I know about you is that you are a lawyer in CM. You have ginger hair. You are from NZ. You have twins and as a result have lost heaps of weight. Where is the media connection?

    I am interested to hear back from KW when he gets back from Burma to see why he asked this question and what he is planning.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock
    All I know about you is that you are a lawyer in CM. You have ginger hair. You are from NZ. You have twins and as a result have lost heaps of weight. Where is the media connection?
    I don't have ginger hair, not really. That was just a nasty rumour started by CMN and adopted as 'fact' on here.

    Quick PM on its way, don't want to post anymore info on here that hasn't already been - the usual stalker suspects might be lurking...

  7. #7
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    No Ginger hair?

    Thats what it looked like in the photo

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Fecking Photoshop!

    I'll concede to strawberry-blonde but that's it. One of my nicknames at school was 'blondie', not 'ginge'. Here's a pic of me as a wee chap:



    That may be a hideous purple jersey but that ain't ginger hair!

  9. #9
    I am in Jail

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    google him. red as an irish shepard, it is.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by obsidian View Post
    google him. red as an irish shepard, it is.
    thought you had me on ignore.

  11. #11
    I am in Jail

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    to much back and forth.

    gave in.

    ("anthony robertson chiang mai")

    red as a monky's ass.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obsidian
    gave in
    Translation: I'm an attention-whore and a stalker, I need you to validate my lonely existence.

  13. #13
    I am in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by obsidian
    red as a monky's ass.
    on the verge of purple.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    I don't have ginger hair, not really.
    No, not at all.


  15. #15
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    I've really got to learn that bloody Photoshop, my MS-Paint skills just don't cut it in this day and age
    Last edited by AntRobertson; 07-03-2008 at 11:45 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock View Post
    Within 2 years it was making a profit and within another few years I bought the company.
    Well it's all clear apart from this rather vital part. How do you go from being an employee to being in a position to buy the company you work for?

  17. #17
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    Well it had been making a loss for so long and the profit I had started to make was very low that the price to buy it was also very low.

    I had some money saved up and I took a loan from my Dad at the going interest rate of the day.

  18. #18
    Mea-Culpa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    I don't have ginger hair, not really.
    No, not at all.

    Feck, I dident know that there was ginger negros around.....

  19. #19
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    cheers MM,



    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock
    I am interested to hear back from KW when he gets back from Burma to see why he asked this question and what he is planning.
    just inspired by the old Q&A threads u started with AO and CS.

    i'm not really planning anything myslef.

    Though I did live in a small town for a few years adn saw a young journo make mistakes by writing about ppl...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    cheers MM,

    No worries at all.


    [QUOTE=kingwilly;557312]
    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock
    I am interested to hear back from KW when he gets back from Burma to see why he asked this question and what he is planning.
    just inspired by the old Q&A threads u started with AO and CS.

    i'm not really planning anything myslef.

    Though I did live in a small town for a few years adn saw a young journo make mistakes by writing about ppl...
    Care to tell me more about that journo?

  21. #21
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    i'm in KL airport with 3 minutes left on the laptop battery.....

    just that this young kid was writing a weekly article for the paper, not quite gossip, but a few of her friends and family would obviously feature in it, and not totally flatteringly either....

    i think she kept at it though, and learned to write a little more... i dunno, with tact.

    regarding the 2 rival papers, did you ever feel worried about your sales? were they serious rivals? Why was your paper better?

    And actually how are local papers better than the national groups? (less money fewer journo's etc)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post

    regarding the 2 rival papers, did you ever feel worried about your sales? were they serious rivals? Why was your paper better?
    Well they had me worried enough that I was one of the first people to be picking up a copy when the came on sale and would then sit down with some of my staff to go through it with them.

    The first competition couldn't write to save themselves and they knew it so they went for the fluffy dog stories which didn't create much intrest apart from the few locals who believed there should only be good news in a paper (and those sort of people are never big advertisers)

    The owner also was a big believer in the super natural which he used to rave on a bit which didn't go down to well with the locals. So I was wary of them but not too worried.

    The second one was a different story as it was started by the manager who was sacked (that I replaced) he also copied every last bit of our software and took it with him (plus a journo but he was welcome to her)

    He brought his paper out 12 hours before ours and actively chased our advertisers. He was more of a concern as he tried to be a clone of my paper. Even the mast head was in the same font for goodness sake.

    The few things that brought him crashing to earth 9 months later was:

    He had no money so convinced a local to fund it. The local who funded it was a prolific writer of letters to the editor to my paper and had an opinion on everything and anything local. For him to fund it he made sure that he was allowed to write what he wanted where he wanted which ended up being the full two pages of page 2 and 3.

    Poor staff choices, the journalist was useless and his sales rep was a crack head.

    His personal life. He was married but also liked blokes. Actually he preferred younger boys. He also took up with an Aboriginal lady in the neighbouring town. His wife got sick of it so when he was visiting the new lady she moved everything out of the house (which was at the back of the business) and then hung on the front gate of the paper all his sex toys plus photos etc before leaving town.

    He couldn't resist taking pot shots at us through the paper. While all this was going on I never once mentioned his paper and simply pretended that he didn't exist. I could have sued his ass off for stealing our property (I had absolute proof) but didn't want the publicity. The locals appreciated this and at a guess I would say that I would have only lost 10% of my advertising to him. That 10% plus the little bit extra that he picked up was unable to keep them afloat so he did a runner leaving behind him a huge mess that has never been sorted out to this day. He is still in the larger area still ripping off people. He was also run out of another town for bringing an aboriginal corporation to its knees due to gross misappropriation of funds.

    I must admit a few of the locals thought I was a little strange as well but the few 'strange' decisions that I made didn't annoy any advertisers, in fact it drew praise from some of them.

    Those decisions were due to what I wouldn't publish. That included any adverts of a sexual nature what so ever. No prostitutes, no sex phone numbers etc etc.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post

    And actually how are local papers better than the national groups? (less money fewer journo's etc)
    Are you asking me in a way that you think local papers are better and you want to know why or that you have no thought either way and want my thoughts on why I think they are better?

  24. #24
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    ^ little bit of both I guess.

    You mention advertising revenue, was that your main or only source of revenue?

  25. #25
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    We charged a dollar per paper sold which basically covered our printing costs and not the other 80% a week we needed which was covered by advertising.
    Last edited by MeMock; 10-03-2008 at 08:01 AM.

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