Man Bites Murdoch: Four Decades in Print, Six Days in Court by Bruce Guthrie

by |October 18, 2010

KERRY O’BRIEN: So when you were sacked, why did you fight it and how hard was it to decide to take on such a powerful media machine and such a powerful personality and potentially risk just about everything?

BRUCE GUTHRIE: I fought it because it was unfair.

I fought it because there was total lack of respect for me and what I had done for the company.

I fought it because it was illegal and my contract said it was illegal and it was one of the easiest decisions of my life. See full interview here…

Bruce Guthrie survived tuberculosis, Melbourne’s gritty northern suburbs and a boss who twice tried to sack him in his first six months in newspapers, to become a foreign correspondent and then one of Australia’s feistiest and most controversial editors. His CV boasts editorships of ‘The Age’, ‘The Sunday Age’ and the ‘Herald Sun’, magazines ‘Who Weekly’ and ‘The Weekend Australian’, even a high level stint at America’s celeb-news bible, ‘People’. Then, just as he claimed one of the industry’s most glittering prizes, he fell foul of Rupert Murdoch and his henchmen, who promptly dispensed with his services. What would any self-respecting Broadmeadows boy do in such circumstances? Sue them, of course.

This is Guthrie’s explosive account of almost forty years in the news business, his brutal dismissal from Australia’s biggest selling paper and the celebrated court case that exposed the inner workings of the world’s biggest media company – and the treachery of its most senior executives.

Bruce Guthrie began his media career as a copyboy at ‘The Herald’ in Melbourne in 1971. After completing a cadetship, he worked in a variety of reporting roles for the paper until 1985, when he was appointed the Herald and Weekly Times Los Angeles correspondent. In 1987 he returned to Australia and became deputy editor of ‘The Herald’, leaving two years later to help launch the ‘Sunday Age’ as Deputy Editor. He was appointed editor of that paper in 1992 and editor of “The Age” in 1995. He joined Time Inc as a senior editor at ‘People’ magazine in New York in 1998, and became editor of ‘Who Weekly’ a year later. By 2003 he was editorial director of Time Inc Magazines Australia. In 2004, he returned to News Limited as editor of ‘The Weekend Australian’ Magazine and was also editor in chief of ‘Wish’ Magazine since October 2005. He was appointed Editor In Chief of the ‘Herald Sun’, Australia’s largest selling daily newspaper, in February 2007 – a role he filled until his sensational exit in November 2008.

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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