Local Media Pty Ltd




 Proud Tradition Over Half-A-Century

Our story started in 1969

Four very different men - Gordon Barton, Maxwell Newton, Peter Isaacson and Ash Long - have been at the helm of our newspaper group since 1969.


Four very different chapters for four very different eras in Australia.

Today, the Local Media Pty Ltd group publishes the Melbourne Observer weekly newspaper, the Brisbane Sun and Sydney News monthlies, Travel Monthly across Australia, and the National Observer section.



 Gordon Barton: Melbourne's first Sunday paper

Challenge to giant media groups

Transport company chief Gordon Barton was the first publisher of the Melbourne Sunday Observer, with the first edition going to press on Sunday, September 14, 1969.

Barton, co-owner of IPEC, was active in politics, first with the Liberal Reform Group and later with the Australia Party. In 1969, Australia was in the final part of the 27-year reign of the Liberal conservative government, most of it led by Sir Robert Menzies.

Barton was Melbourne's first major independent press operator. In October 1970, he founded the Sunday Review newspaper (later Nation Review) which was to play a leading role in Australian politics for the next 10 years. He took on the media giants of the day: The Herald & Weekly Times Ltd; John Fairfax & Sons/David Syme & Co.; Australian Consolidated Press (Packer family); and the growing News Limited (Murdoch family).

The Observer proved a costly experiment for Gordon Barton and his business partner Greg Farrell. The project lost $1.5 million in just 18 months. More early history is available at www.melbourneobserver.com.au/history.htm  The final of 78 issues of the Observer was published on March 7, 1971.


 Maxwell Newton




See Also

Max Newton in America


 Peter Isaacson





 Ash Long






Head Office: 30 Glen Gully Road, Eltham, Vic 3095
Phone: 1800 231 311. Fax: 1800 231 312.
International Phone: (03) 9439 9927. Fax: (03) 9431 6247
E-Mail: editor@LocalMedia.com.au 

Copyright 2015


Local Media Pty Ltd has a 46-year heritage.
The Melbourne Observer newspaper was
established on September 14, 1969.
Click here to see our first TV commercial from
Saturday, October 26, 1969.

The Brisbane Sun newspaper,
now in its 12th year, is available free monthly
across more than 200 Brisbane suburbs.

The Sydney News newspaper,
now in its 12th year, is available free monthly
across more than 200 Sydney suburbs.

Travel Monthly magazine,
first published in 2002, is available free
every month across Australia.
It has a readership catchment of 105,000.

The National Observer section,
now in its second year, is available monthly
inside each of the Melbourne Observer,
Sydney News
and Brisbane Sun.
Total combined readership of 105,000.