As anticipated, Western Australia got a new Fairfax website – WAtoday.com.au – on June 10, expanding the franchise established with March 2007’s brisbanetimes.com.au.
In a report the following day, Fairfax newspapers quoted chairman Ron Walker’s comment that the new site would provide “much-needed competition to our lacklustre competitors”.
Fairfax says its Brisbane site scored 600,000 visitors in May, compared to the 900,000 of News Limited’s couriermail.com.au site, and chief executive David Kirk claimed Fairfax started with a base of 188,000 users in WA.
No revenue targets have been published, and Kirk says the investment – which includes a team of ten local journalists, working with the group’s 6PR radio station – was in the “mid single-digit” million-dollar range. Predictably, there’s now speculation about a Fairfax site for Adelaide. Fairfax already lists 14 SA sites in its regional network, but last month GXpress failed to get links to these (or the 13 in WA) to work, although links from the new WAtoday site functioned.
However those including the ‘Australian’ who speculated that the new WA site would be perthleader.com.au aren’t entirely wrong ... the less-favoured URL leads you straight to Fairfax Digital. gx