'Digital first': Farewell to print for GQ
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'Digital first': Farewell to print for GQ

The publishing hellfire racing across the magazine industry this year is set to claim another casualty - men’s luxury magazine GQ Australia. Well, sort of.

GQ is going online only.

GQ is going online only.Credit:Illustration: John Shakespeare

The forthcoming November/December issue will be the final print edition of GQ Australia after 22 years. The brand, published by News Corp, will then pivot to a “digital first future” concentrating on its website, events and online shopping, sources tell CBD. Luxury advertisers, many of whom still covet traditional glossy print advertisements, have been told there won’t be a print edition in 2021.

The latest issue of GQ featured Indigenous activist and performer Adam Briggs on the cover and promised readers to “Be a better man. Read GQ”. Online, at least.

The news of yet another closure follows a year of upheaval in the industry, with titles shut and scores of redundancies thanks to coronavirus sales restrictions and an advertising drought. GQ Australia, which reached a monthly print audience of 104,000, outlasted its nearest competitor, Men’s Style, which closed three years ago. Jake Millar, announced as editor earlier this year, will stay on as editorial director of events and digital, although there may be some redundancies.

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Former GQ editors include Peter Holder, Nick Smith and, briefly, Matthew Drummond.

News Corp’s News Prestige Network will continue to publish Vogue and Vogue Living, by arrangement with global magazine giant Conde Nast, overseen by editorial director Edwina McCann and managing director Nicholas Gray.

THAT'S PROPERTY!

It’s been just over 10 months since real estate agent Adrian Bo was sacked from John McGrath’s agency following an investigation into claims of sexual harassment. Unbelievably, he’s back in the fold.

Executive director McGrath joined Bo last week for a catch-up on his real estate training and sales podcast, which promoted McGrath as “one of his best mates and Real Estate Royalty.” What’s more Bo is still training McGrath agents.

A McGrath spokesman confirmed Bo was doing some training as part of his new, independent sales coaching business but not on the company premises. Well that’s OK then.

Bo was punted over allegations he had spoken crudely to a male colleague. An SMH investigation also revealed three instances in which female staff either raised sexual harassment claims against the agent or asked HR that they be moved away from him.

McGrath’s then chief executive Geoff Lucas took a hardline stance following an internal investigation and fired Bo last December. Lucas resigned in August.

Would Lucas have sanctioned the cosy podcast chat? Not likely, company sources said.

The job of responding to HR issues falls to Lucas' successor Edward Law. Have fun with that.

Bo, for his part, claims his dismissal was “a complete set-up and complete beat-up” when CBD asked on Wednesday.

In the meantime, he is working at eastern suburbs real estate agency NG Farah, where his corporate profile boasts clients including model Jennifer Hawkins, cricketer Dave Warner and Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Que?

Turns out Bo sold the PM’s Bronte one-bedder in 1988 when a young Morrison and wife Jenny moved for their first stint in Canberra. (Morrison became the Property Council of Australia’s research and policy boss in 1989.)

“He said ‘I’m going to move to Canberra and give politics a go,’ and the guy who bought it still owns it,” Bo said. “I’ve since been back to value [the flat] and the rest is history - Morrison obviously got into politics and did very well. He was nice to deal with.”

DOUBLING DOWN

In January, former Labor minister Melissa Parke launched Federal Court action against Liberal MP Dave Sharma over a tweet which Parke believed implied she was anti-semite. On Wednesday, the Pro-Palestine advocate opted to discontinue the case.

Federal Court Justice James Besanko ruled Parke could accept Sharma’s offer to discontinue the case, with each party paying costs.

But it’s possible the fight won’t end there. As it turns out, Sharma’s original offer to discontinue the case had an expiration date of 28 days. Parke initially rejected that, but then, on the 28th day, accepted it.

In court on Wednesday, Sharma argued the offer to settle had expired because Parke had initially rejected it. But Judge Besanko ruled the offer still existed, and Parke could accept it. The former MP wasted no time chalking up the result as a victory.

“Mr Sharma was not prepared to take up the challenge offered to him to justify his defamatory tweet. I consider that I am vindicated,” she said.

Sharma disagreed.

“Ms Parke’s statement today about the outcome of the proceedings is incorrect. The proceedings were dismissed. She gave up,” he said.

He’s considering next steps. “I was looking forward to defending my remarks in court and was very confident of my prospects,” he said. “I stand by my comments that Melissa Parke's inflammatory speech trafficked in antisemitism and conspiracy theories. In a free society, remarks such as these should always warrant scrutiny and criticism.”

WRAPPED IN A BOW

It appears Labor’s health spokesman Chris Bowen drew the short straw on the corporate gifts front earlier this month when he received two boxes of Swisse vitamins and supplements. His parliamentary register of interests was frank about the lacklustre haul.

“I have received two small boxes of Swisse products. Value unknown, but modest,” a note on his register read. His Labor colleague Mark Butler fared better. He scored a bottle of vintage 2002 “Rare Millesime” Piper Heidsieck champagne from Qantas - which retails for around $240 a bottle. Not bad.

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