Eccentric rich lister and political party leader Clive Palmer lodged a trademark for ‘The Australian Times’ this week, indicating he may be planning to launch an Australian newspaper.
Media News reports Palmer lodged an Australian trademark application for a traditional-looking masthead for The Australian Times.
SmartCompany contacted Clive Palmer but his spokesperson declined to comment.
However, some of the classes on the trademark application give strong hints at what Palmer’s plans might be.
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The classes applied for include publishing services such as publication of newspapers, downloadable publications (including audio, webcasts and apps), advertising space and materials, news agency and broadcasting services, magazines, cartoons and news information, online services like hosting and hyperlinks, financial and real estate information, and providing job listings.
The mining magnate has made his disdain for the media clear in the past, barring a reporter from The Australian from covering a recent Palmer United Party media event in Adelaide, describing the newspaper as “just a rag”.
Palmer’s lawyers have also launched Queensland Supreme Court defamation proceedings against the newspaper and two of its journalists.
If Palmer is launching a newspaper, he won’t be the first Australian mining magnate to dabble in the media business.
Lang Hancock actively engaged the press and started two newspapers, as megaphones for his political views in the 1960s and 1970s, both of which are now defunct.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Gina Rinehart has tried to wield media influence by taking stakes in Ten Network Holdings and Fairfax Media.
Rinehart’s 10% stake in Ten allowed her to join the board alongside Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer, and she has been engaged in a high-profile war with Fairfax Media for board representation after becoming the publisher of The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald’s top shareholder with a 15% holding.