Gina Rinehart, the world's wealthiest woman, did not get to the top by waiting for opportunities to drop on her lap. While her father, Lang Hancock, left her several millions of dollars, she parlayed the inheritance into billions by aggressively pursuing opportunities in the mining sector through Hancock Prospecting.
Recently, Ms Rinehart had forayed into media by purchasing substantial stakes at Ten Network and Fairfax Media. Ironically, on the day that BRW Magazine named her the richest woman in the world, Fairfax snubbed her and gave the director's seat she has coveted to another stakeholder.
And Ms Rinehart is not taking the snub lightly. What Gina wants, she will get. To snag the director's seat at Fairfax, Ms Rinehart has made another attempt by approaching a fellow Ten Network director.
The Australian Financial Review reports that Ms Rinehart asked Jack Cowin, who sits on the Ten board, if he was interested in a seat in Fairfax. The latter has offered a seat to Mr Cowin, but said he must give up his Ten directorship. The AFR said Mr Cowin was reluctant.
Another person that Ms Rinehart, who upped her stake in Fairfax to more than 13 per cent, approached is casino magnate James Packer. Mr Packer owns a 9 per cent stake in Ten.
The reluctance by Fairfax Chairman Roger Corbett to give Ms Rinehart a seat in the media firm's board is over concerns that she may attempt to influence the company's editorial direction to be used in her battle against the mining tax and carbon tax.
Ms Rinehart earlier criticised the manner that Mr Corbett run Fairfax. In her third challenge within the week, she sought a new strategy for Fairfax to address its poor performance. In another email, she warned anew that the market does not support Fairfax's current strategy which has caused loss in sharemarket value and circulation on all of the paper's major mastheads.
Mr Cowin took Ms Rinehart's side in her bid to gain a seat in Fairfax board.
"I can't believe Fairfax is going to reject Gina.... At the end of the day there aren't too many people in this area of the world that have her track record of being able to pull off (what she has) as an individual. You've got (Andrew) Twiggy Forrest who did similar sorts of things, but she's been pretty successful in what she's achieved," The Australian Financial Review quoted Mr Cowin.
Meanwhile, Fairfax announced on Newcastle Herald and Illawarra Mercury that editorial production tasks for these two papers and other community sites would be handled by the company's editorial services in New Zealand. The move of the sub-editing work will affect 66 local jobs.
The affected editors would be offered voluntary redundancies or redeployment, or accept forced redundancy. The paper's union, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), will meet Wednesday to respond to the Fairfax move.
Fairfax explained the changes to be a part of its wider company strategy "to pursue operational efficiencies while strengthening the focus on audience growth and producing quality content." MEAA Federal Secretary Chris Warren warned of the danger of the offshoring because it would impact the paper's ability to tell quality local news.
To contact the editor, e-mail: