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NZBT Launches Battle For Business

Tuesday 27 February 2001

New weekly publication - New Zealand Business Times (NZBT) - is confident it will give the business market a significant boost with an innovative mix of local and international news when it launches this Friday 2nd March.

IT Media Group Publisher Tim Connell says NZBT offers a different proposition to what is currently available in an admittedly tight marketplace.

"While there's been growth in readership of business publishing overseas, the circulation figures of most of our local competitors have not been impressive," he said.

"Rather than reflecting a lack of interest from readers in the topic, we believe it indicates a significant market gap for a new publication like NZBT. However, to succeed we will have to offer a different proposition to existing publications."

Mr Connell says while criticism from direct competitors is predictable, support from advertising agencies and corporate clients has exceeded all expectations and it has reinforced his confidence that the market is ready for the new entrant.

Mr Connell has brought experienced Australian journalist Andrew Stokes to New Zealand to head NZBT.

Mr Stokes says the time is ripe to change business journalism in New Zealand.

"We're launching NZBT because we believe there's room for a quality business publication that informs and entertains both business and non-business readers," he said.

"Additionally, we want to raise the standard of business journalism in New Zealand. Our investment already demonstrates we're committed to putting something back into the local community."

According to Mr Stokes, business has undergone significant changes over the last decade. He says with many leading companies moving head offices and investments offshore combined with the continuing poor performance of the local share market, there is a strong need for a publication that links what is happening here with what is happening in the rest of the world.

"Syndication agreements with The Wall Street Journal, London's Financial Times and the Sydney Morning Herald assure the in-depth international coverage that our readers' overseas colleagues already enjoy," said Mr Stokes.

"Our high profile columnists like Jane Young, Pam Corkery and Jon Gadsby - with others to be announced - will provide regular commentary on political and business topics."

Mr Stokes attributes the success of overseas business publications to an editorial mix of business, technology, media, politics and leisure but believes this convergence has not happened successfully on a local level.

"That's the style of editorial that's set the standard internationally. NZBT will be a new voice for business with wide-ranging content in a primarily colour, tabloid paper."

On sale every Friday, NZBT will deliver business and political news, share market reports, international news and interesting features on lifestyle and other issues.

- ends -

For more information about New Zealand Business Times or to arrange an interview with Andrew Stokes, please contact Jennifer Dell on (09) 300 3920 or 021 502 196 (email: OR Andrew Stokes on (09) 300 3920 or 021 505 363.

Note to the Editor: 1. IT Media Group is a vertical media group delivering niche content over multiple media channels. Tim Connell founded the group in 1998. IT Media owns properties in three areas:

· ITM Publishing - NZ Rugby World, Rip It Up, Crème, NZ Fishing World, New Zealand Business Times - total monthly readership of around 500,000

· ITM Wired -,,,

· ITM Television - Off Side rugby programme

2. was launched in November 2000 and is New Zealand's only fully interactive, online men's magazine. fire-engine offers irreverent and humorous commentary on sports, girls, mens' health, entertainment and more. Registered members receive access to a personalised home page, a fire-engine email address, the ability to enter competitions and the right to submit information for publication online. The site is operated by IT Media Group and edited by media star, Oscar Kightley.

3. is New Zealand's leading online retail brand. It was founded in 1999 and bought by IT Media Group in November 2000. offers one of the largest product range in Australasia with 1.5 million items over five retail categories - books, DVDs, videos, stationery and gaming software.

4. was purchased by IT Media in January 2001. It offers a broad range of CDs at significantly discounted prices and cutting edge music technology such as liquid audio.

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