Good news in the deadtree media today for Xtian Eedes as Business Day reports the remaining 70% of family firm RamsayMedia is being gobbled up for R70 million. Times Media made an offer but knock-and-drop artistes Caxton prevailed which is good news for employees as TML are the vampire squids of SA publications. Does anyone remember Winelands Living, bravely edited by Queen of Sheba look-alike Leigh Robertson, the Anglo version of Samarie Smith? Both ladies are incredible lifestyle journalists and need little encouragement to dive into the sea/pool/whatever. Both literally and metaphorically.
Bidet reports that “the ‘next’ generation — several of whom have worked in the business and who are the fourth generation to have done so — would rather direct their interests, skills and energies in new and different directions” although in the case of Xtian it was rather that RamsayMedia publications moved in a different direction when Wine magazine was closed down some years ago.
Plucked eyebrows did fly off the Richter Scale at the R70 bar price tag as I remember Xtian phoning and pleading I reduce my per-word rate from R2.50 to R2 shortly before the magazine went tits up. Poverty? Phah! Seems that Wine Lizard was the only hack who refused to take a haircut (he has a bolla of Hollywood proportions, at least two packs of Carmen curlers), but then he was on a totally different pay scale. Let’s hope his premium rate at Platanna survived the purchase by Diners Club/Standard Bank. Heaven knows, he’s not worth it.
But Caxton are canny buyers and Terry Moolman is nobody’s patsy. Knock-and-drops are the only hardcopy game left in an increasingly digital media milieu. Come on Terry, how about blind tasted wine and suburban restaurant guides organized on regional lines like your newspapers? The invisible media baron could easily become the saviour of lifestyle journalism in SA. Heaven knows, the competition is so rotten, it will collapse in a puff of dust and bad smells if faced with the slightest competition.