Yet the veteran newspaperman got a harsh reality check not long into his stint editing the Shanghai Daily, the English language Chinese journal then part-owned by Australian billionaire media proprietor Kerry Stokes. "We had an advertising contract with a company," Mr Cronin, a former editor-in-chief of The West Australian, said.
"The deal was that they agreed to pay us x dollars a month. In return for that, they had the right to sell advertising in the Shanghai Daily."So you say, 'You have to pay us $100,000 a month … if you sell $150,000 of advertising in the paper you make $50,000 … if you sell $80,000 of advertising, you lose $20,000'.
"That was the deal. That was the contract. And after about six months they came back and said: 'Advertising is much harder than we thought and so we need to change the contract'."