Bookies offer odds on newspaper shutdowns

Online betting giant William Hill is cashing in on the demise of the Australian newspaper market by offering odds on which title will disappear off the weekday news stands first.

The company yesterday released odds offering punters the opportunities to bet on the demise of both Fairfax and News mastheads such as Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and the Herald Sun predicting The Age would be the first to cease weekday print editions.

William Hill says, “The once almighty masthead industry in Australia might be on its last legs after recent reports from Fairfax Media boss Greg Hywood. When discussing the immediate future of the company’s flagship newspapers Hywood claimed it is ‘inevitable’ that the weekday editions of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald will eventually no longer make it to newsstands each morning.

“On the back of the Fairfax assessment, William Hill Australia has the The Age as the most likely to go first at $3.50, closely followed by Sydney Morning Herald at $3.70 and the Australian Financial Review at $4.50.” Longer odds are on News Ltd’s Australian at 5.50, The Herald Sun at $6.80 and Daily Telegraph $8.50

Following the announcement social media users have criticised the gambling group for its lack of sensitivity over the crumbling newspaper empire.

The release of the odds is particularly controversial following another round of job cuts for Fairfax this week. However Fairfax boss Greg Hywood’s assessment of print viability in today’s market left little to conjecture, telling investors it was a matter of when, not if the weekday editions will cease printing.  

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