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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

You don’t own The Echo mate!

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Paul Bibby

The region’s latest newspaper, The Northern Rivers Review, is off to a less-than-auspicious start after its owners inexplicably claimed that they owned The Byron Shire Echo.

The co-founder and founding editor of the Byron Shire Echo, Nicholas Shand, whose family still has an ownership share of the paper.

In a gaffe which raises questions as to the Review’s ability to accurately report the facts, a press release from media corporation ACM today stated that it owned the ‘Newcastle Herald, The Canberra Times and the Byron Shire Echo’.

The Byron Shire Echo, the newspaper which publishes this website, is a local, family-owned business and has never been owned by any corporation, including ACM.

‘I imagine that Antony Catalano [ACM’s Executive Chairman] was sitting there at the luxury hotel he owns in Byron and just became a bit confused about whether he owned The Byron Shire Echo or was just reading it,’ The Echo’s General Manager, Simon Haslam said, chuckling.

‘I think the same thing happens to Rupert Murdoch when he meets politicians. He probably just assumes he owns them until someone tells him otherwise.’

Mr Catalano was quoted in the press release as saying that he ‘couldn’t be happier to be launching a new publication in the area I care so much about.’

Update, October 30
Mr Catalano contacted The Echo this morning.
‘I have established that no one at ACM made the false claim that we owned The Echo,’ said Mr Catalano. ‘The mistake was made by a distributor from Ballina who altered ACM’s official press release which made no reference to The Echo. He is not an ACM employee.’
Mr Haslam welcomed the response, saying that Mr Catalano had largely taken The Echo’s tongue-in-cheek criticism with good grace.
‘We do broadly support the need for more regional media, so I wish Mr Catalano and the Northern Rivers Review all the best, especially now I’ve been reassured that it’s not official ACM policy to absorb The Echo.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. The Echo has become a miserable shadow of its past. It’s become such a depressing read from the weekly Anti-Green bash by its editor, to the predictably bitter letter to the editor from Fast Bucks or whatever name he hides behind. I just can’t read it anymore, from the stream of complaining letters to the heavily biased editorials and “news” stories – it’s become a poisonous read.
    This new thing sounds just as bad.

  2. I have been reading the echo since it started and love it.
    If your an informed and concerned local all of what is published in the ECHO is relevant and informative to the community and indeed afar .
    Keep up the good work , Byron Shire is lucky to have you.

  3. The world’s a miserable shadow of itself due to rat-bag politicians who
    couldn’t run a sausage sizzle. We’ve got Trumpeting Trump [danger
    man], China & Russia power bidding & the middle East etc etc. Aussie’s
    got ‘bats in its antlers’ & leaders who have no idea how to lead, let alone
    ‘how to tell the truth’. The publics been screwed & the pandemic’s a wild
    card following last years’ fires – drought & floods. Depressing on Editors
    as well as readers. It’s not possible to sing ‘happy days are here again’
    like it or not. Truth – like love – usually hurts. Supporting people is what
    it’s all about & that’s what The Echo does.


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