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Hamilton Spectator

Information & Media Kit

Contact Details

Hamilton Spectator
59 Gray Street
PO Box 416
Victoria 3300
Phone: (03) 5572 1011
Fax: (03) 5572 3800

Richard Beks
Ph: (03) 5572 1011

General Manager:
Greg Stevens
Ph: (03) 5551 3888

Campbell Kirwan
Ph: (03) 5551 3811

Sports Editor:
Adam Hill
Ph: (03) 5551 3818

Production Manager:
Jeff Jellie
Ph: (03) 5551 3832

Display Advertising Enquiries

Advertising Manager:
Sandra Ryan
Ph: (03) 5551 3845

Western District Farmer

Advertising Consultant:
Jenny Field
Ph: (03) 5551 3842


Administration Manager:
Annette Moore
Ph: (03) 5551 3806

Reception / Subscriptions:
Ph: (03) 5572 1011
Fax: (03) 5572 3800


About Us

The Hamilton Spectator is a bi-weekly Australian newspaper that serves a diverse region which is home to some 34,000 people.

Published Wednesday and Saturday the Spectator reaches the heartland of the wool, meat production (sheep and cattle), dairying, forestry, along with cereals and specialist seed growing industries.

Hamilton is at the centre of the southwest of Victoria, ideally placed on the highways linked to Portland, Mount Gambier, Warrnambool and Horsham.

The Spectator provides southwest Victoria with the best and most comprehensive local news, sport and views coverage.

Each edition is filled with a variety of news articles, following the local events. In a district passionate for sport, the Spectator is the premier sports newspaper.

Coupled with classified columns, displaying sales, births, weddings, public notices and more, the Spectator caters for a large selection of readers.

Tourism is a burgeoning area of development and the region is a host to natural attractions like the Grampians and the Wannon Falls. In town, there are the Hamilton Art Gallery, Ansett Museum and the Big Wool Bales.

Established in 1859 by Thomas Wotton Sheville as the Hamilton Courier, it became the Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser in 1860, and later The Hamilton Spectator.

The Hamilton Spectator covers many towns, including Ararat, Branxholme, Balmoral, Byaduk, Caramut, Casterton, Cavendish, Chetwynd, Coleraine, Condah, Dartmoor, Digby, Dunkeld, Edenhope, Glenthompson, Hamilton, Harrow, Hawkesdale, Heywood, Horsham, Koroit, Lake Bolac, Macarthur, Merino, Millicent, Mortlake, Mt. Gambier, Narrawong, Penshurst, Port Fairy, Portland, Stawell, Tyrendarra, Warrnambool, Westmere, Willaura, Winnap and Yambuk.

Our History

The first issue of the Hamilton Courier and Normanby, Dundas, Follet and Villiers and Heytesbury Advertiser was published on July 23, 1859. Thomas Shevill came to Hamilton from Warrnambool and narrowly beat a rival group which had been preparing to start a paper but had run into difficulties. Once the Courier was started, the other project lapsed.

On February 11, 1860, George Robinson (1824-96) who had been intending to start a paper before the ‘Courier’ began, bought the copyright of the Courier from T.W. Shevill. ‘The Courier’ became ‘The Spectator’ and was published each Saturday.

In 1861 the Spectator faced short-lived competition from a periodical ‘Punch in Hamilton’ run by Joseph Wilson as his way of making barbed and witty comments on local affairs. Spectator proprietor Robinson took in his first partner, William Vale in December 1861.

In April 1862 the Spectator faced a serious challenge from the Hamilton Free Press. This followed the floating of the Hamilton joint stock newspaper company in June 1861 with capital of 600 pounds in one pound shares.

Vale took over the entire running of the Spectator in 1864 when Robinson went to Europe. Robinson left money in Vale’s trust. Vale made unexpected use of the money and the matter ended in court. A bailiff auctioned the paper’s copyright outside the Spectator office, returning the ownership to Robinson.

Through 1862 – 1869 a good relationship between the Spectator and Free Press where no sparring existed.
In June 1864 a Wednesday issue began appearing. Opposition from the Hamilton Free Press ended in 1869 when the Free Press closed it’s doors.

Robinson took in Francis H. Nixon (died 1883) as his partner in 1866 and under their partnership the paper was generally perceptive and far seeing. It tried to be politically neutral, yet expressed strong opinions on important issues, it’s views were generally liberal.

In 1869 Robinson took in new partner and editor, George H. Mott (1832-1906), formerly the proprietor of ‘Albury Border Post’. Mott built the first part of the historic home, ‘Kilora’. Under his editorship, the Spectator turned strongly against protection and became a supporter of free trade. The paper also became a mouthpiece for Mott’s conservative politics.

Through the early 1870s the views of the Spectator swung towards support for conservative politics and in 1873 the Spectator opened next to the Post Office in Gray Street. In January 1876 a new rival for the Spectator ‘The Commercial’ began, however, this was short-lived and it closed in March the same year.

Robinson sold his share in the paper in 1876 to George R. Rippon (1838-99) who shared Mott’s conservatism.
In October 1876 the Spectator increased its publications to three issues, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Mott sold his share in partnership in 1885 to Rippon, who became sole proprietor. The world in which Rippon moved was a large homestead, the Hamilton Club and prosperous businessmen. His editors tended to reflect that world and its conservative politics.

Another newspaper to rival the Spectator, ‘The Hamilton Tribune and Western Farmer Record’ began in 1890. It published three times a week on alternate days to the Spectator. At the time of the Tribune’s challenge, the Spectator was edited by W. T. Reay who had some pretensions to liberalism, so was able to soften the attitude of the Spectator. He would go on to become editor of the Melbourne Herald. Editors of the Spectator and Tribune were not always best of friends through 1890-93, the Tribune calling the Spec “the old Gray lady in Gray Street”.

Rippon took the Tribune to court in September 1891 for plagiarism. The case failed on technical objection to legal status of Spectator copyright. In 1892 the Spectator declared itself liberal rather than conservative as it always had been. The Tribune suffered in September 1893, unable to cope with the depression it closed.

Rippon died in April 1899 and the paper continued to operate under management by his son, Herbert E. Rippon. The editor P. A. (Phil) Gullett from 1897-1913 was staunchly anti Labor.

A new opponent for the Spectator, the ‘Hamilton Independent’ began in 1903, publishing three days a week on alternate days to the Spectator. Due to competition, the Spectator was forced to drop its price to a penny in line with the Independent.

In 1908 the Spectator began to publish daily and due to the increased competition the Tribune was forced to close its doors in November 1910. Under Editor Henry W. Dew through 1915-1936 the Spectator expressed conservative politics. The Spectator ceased publishing daily and went back to three days a week in 1917. The reason for this was a paper shortage, a side-effect of World War One. The price increased from 1d to 2d.

In 1937, R. C. Foyster became editor of the Spectator and the editorial view became more neutral. George Reynolds Rippon, the younger took over in 1954 after his father’s death. The Portland Observer was incorporated with the Spectator Partnership in January 1968.

The Spectator and its associated publications changed from molten metal production to offset production in May 1976, involving a new press and advanced technology. The first offset edition marked an enormous equipment upgrading and extension worth more than $1 million during the next decade.

In 1978 the Spectator established an employee participation scheme, transferring 15% of the company’s capital to it’s staff, according to years served. The Spectator partners bought ‘The Western Advertiser’ based at Portland in October 1981 and returned it to its original town, Casterton. The paper was then returned to its former name, “Casterton News”.

In the early 1980s the Spectator commissioned its first computerised typesetting system. Beks Holdings Pty Ltd gains a controlling interest in the company in 1985 and the Spectator reiterates a politically neutral course.

In 1986 Publisher Richard Beks becomes the company’s only state president of the Victorian newspaper association. The Spectator launched two specialty papers, Western District Farmer and Western District Holiday News in 1987, which are syndicated as supplements within newspapers circulating in Western Victoria.

The first female editor of the Spectator, Jan Leishman was appointed in April 1994, serving that position until 2005. First in-house computerised colour separation and combining at the Hamilton Spectator occured on April 12, 1995 while the first full colour front page was published on May 13, 1995.

In 1996, computers and software to produce digital images were installed. This enabled the Spectator to use regular full colour, while the company opens a fourth office in Warrnambool. The Spectator offices went online in 1997 and became an internet service provider in a business partnership with then local ISP Westvic Internet.

Electronic pagination was introduced in 1998, the Spectator installing a state of the art image setter to take fully paginated pages direct to negative film, rather than printing from a laser printer. In June 1999, the papers adapted the new 38cm format and a redesign was introduced. The Spectator Partnership launched its website, in 1999, plus a virtual used car yard servicing the Green Triangle region of Western Victoria and the south-east of South Australia.

In a multi-million dollar upgrade, the Spectator printery is remodelled from 2006-2008 and two full colour printing units imported from China are commissioned, along with ancillary digital plate-makers and software sourced in Europe. In 2009 the Spectator marks its 150th anniversary. In 2011 the Spectator launched a redesigned, highly anticipated new website, encompassing over 10 years of archived content.

Advertising Copy Formats

Deadlines for electronic delivery:

Advertisements MUST be received no later than 10am day prior to date of issue. Proofs of advertisements MUST be returned no later than 10am. Proofs returned after this time will not be guaranteed placement in that issue.

When receiving complete adverts:

The file must be saved as CMYK or Grayscale formatted PDF files, compatible with Adobe Acrobat. Files containing PMS colours cannot be guaranteed. Resolution reduced to 300dpi with embedded fonts.

All other files, including Microsoft Word documents, Publisher, Excel, Illustrator, Freehand, PageMaker, Quark Xpress, InDesign etc WILL NOT be accepted and will be returned for correct formatting.

Receiving text layout suggestions for adverts:

We are able to receive text from Microsoft Word, WordPad, Notepad, Writer, Write and other text-based applications. These files should be saved in either Word (Doc) format or Text (Txt) format.

(Please send logos and photos etc as separate graphic files. Those included or embedded in Word documents are not suitable and may not be used in their entirety.)

Receiving pictures, photos and logos:

Pictures must be saved as TIF, JPG or PDF (high resolution/best quality) at least 150-300dpi. Where text is displayed in the graphic, resolution should be at least 300dpi to ensure type is legible.

Complete advertisements must be saved as a PDF and should be CMYK if colour or grayscale if it is to be straight black/white. Fonts should be embedded and PDF should be compatible with Acrobat.

Advertising Conditions

Page dimensions – 374 x 260mm. Specified page loadings, page 3 and back page 50%; page 5, 25%; other pages 10%. Space order rates shall apply only to the advertiser’s trade or business and shall not be used for any other purpose. Published rates are for advertisements set in a body type not smaller than 8 point. The Publisher reserves the right to omit or alter any advertisement. Every care is taken to prevent errors and accidental omissions, but no financial liability can be accepted for loss resulting from any such error or omission. While reasonable care is exercised, the publisher does not hold himself responsible for errors in or misclassification of advertisements.


Hamilton Spectator
Wednesday5pm FriNoon Monday
Saturday5pm Wed10am Friday
Portland Observer
TuesdayNoon Fri11am Monday
FridayNoon Tue10.30am Thursday
Casterton News
WednesdayNoon Mon5pm Monday

Hamilton Employment by Industry

*Snapshot only, total 4025; see Towns in time for complete data.

Retail Trade20%
Property/Business Services7.8%
Other Industries6.5%
Health/Community Services14.5%
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing33.8%


Lake Bolac25
Mt Gambier28
Port Fairy55
Electronic Papers131
Subs & Frees156
Counter Sales189


Display, classified: 3 days prior

Display, classified: 2 days prior

Mail or courier to –
Hamilton Spectator
59 Gray Street
Hamilton Vic

or Via Adstream PageStore to Hamilton Spectator


6390 (ABC)
Population in prime circulation area: 12,063
Published Wednesday and Saturday.
The circulation of the Hamilton Spectator includes the Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shires.