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Panpa Bulletin : April 2007
Saturday. Newton offered the Braidwood paper, too, even though Woods said he was not interested. Newton asked, "Well, how much will you give me for it?" Woods replied: "Ten dollars." "It's yours," said Newton. The Bradley/ Woods partnership bought it, but did not republish under that banner. They arranged a bank cheque and by 11am Saturday had added the Bega District News, the Moruya Examiner and the Eden Voice to their stable of papers. Southern Publishers Pty Ltd was established to run the papers. Colin Lord soon became a thorn in the side of the South Coast newspaper opera- tions of the Bradley and Woods families, just as he had been for Maxwell Newton. In mid-1971 he snatched control of the Southern Star, Moruya, when the Bradleys and Jim Woods were keenly interested. Husband and wife Albert Edward (Bert) Royall and Joyce Isabella Geraldine Royall, had been running the Tablelands Advertiser at Mareeba, Qld, for 10 years (owning it for three) when they shifted to NSW because Bert had been diagnosed with cancer. In Mareeba, the Royalls sold the Advertiser in August 1969 to Vincent Ferrer Kilgallon who, before moving north, had sold the masthead of the Moruya Examiner to Newton. Kilgallon sold the Royalls his Express Printers, Moruya (the old Examiner printing plant and job-printing business), also in August 1969, and some months later the locals, unhappy with the Newton-style Examiner, invited the Royalls to start a paper. They established the Southern Star (free) on May 6, 1970, but Bert's health deteriorated and he died on May 13, 1971. Meanwhile, on February 10, 1971, Lord had established the Eurobodalla Independent (paid) to create a three-way newspaper bat- tle in Moruya. From July 1 Colin Lord obtained a con- trolling interest in the Star from under the noses of the Bradley/Woods partnership which bought the Moruya Examiner from Newton on July 10. Lord took a 60 per cent interest in the Star and Joyce Royall retained a 40 per cent interest. Lord's five-month-old Eurobodalla Independent was closed after the issue of July 21 and incorporated in the Southern Star which became a paid-circulation paper from August 11. When the Bradley/Woods partnership was struggling with its South Coast invest- ments, the Moruya Examiner became avail- able and a Narooma property owner, Ted Street, 42of Street's Ice Cream, offered to lend Schofield the $4,000 needed to buy the mast- head. Gary and Susan Schofield became the owners on November 1, 1971, and continued to have the paper printed at the Queanbeyan Age. Schofield sold it back to the Bradleys and Woods in December 1975. The Lord- Royall partnership continued until October 1988 when they sold to John Armati. The Southern Star gave Lord a stepping stone into Bega. Allan McGregor resigned as editor of the Bega District News and Lord struck. On October 13, 1971, he established the Bega District Times, with McGregor as ed- itor, and set his advertising rates well below those of the Bega District News. From that time Lord "greatly undermined the potential and development of the newspapers that Southern Publishers Pty Ltd had acquired". In 1972 the original Canberra Times press had been relocated from the Queanbeyan Age to the Southern Publishers office in Bega. With the undercutting operations and the difficulties of finding a good editor and manager, the company experienced severe financial problems. Additional share capital and loan capital were subscribed by J.A. Bradley (Holdings) Pty Ltd and the Woods family company. The South Coast operations were stabilised and profitability improved once John Leach, a former Brisbane Courier-Mail journalist, became the managing editor. Soon the Bradleys and Jim Woods were fending off offers for individual newspa- pers in the chain. In May 1984 the Bradleys and Jim Woods refused an offer from John Fairfax and Sons to acquire a 25 to 50 per cent interest in Southern Publishers but accepted an offer in January 1985 from Armati's Macquarie Publications for the whole company. Extensive Bradley family interests in NSW provincial newspapers ceased in 1990, although members of the family still retained minor interests. On September 28, 1990, Rural Press Ltd acquired J.A. Bradley (Holdings) Limited. With the sale went the mastheads of the Cootamundra Herald, the Harden Murrumburrah Express, the Boorowa News, the Eastern Riverina Observer, the Holbrook Courier and a minority interest in the West Wyalong Advocate. Both the second-genera- tion Bradley newspapermen died within six years of the sale. The Bradley families and the Woods family later sold to RPL their interests in the Queanbeyan Age (December 21, 1994) and the Crookwell Gazette (December 31, 1995). Arthur Stafford James Bradley continued to own and actively manage the day-to-day fortunes of the Temora Independent, the Lake Cargelligo News and the West Wyalong Advocate (the last-mentioned in partner- ship with RPL). Rod Kirkpatrick is a journalism educator, newspaper historian and the editor of the Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter. newspaper for $10 John Je rey Bradley By Rod Kirkpatrick Arthur Bradley Snr PANPA Bulletin March 2007 39 history