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A Million Readers A Week For The NZ Herald

A Million Readers A Week For The New Zealand Herald

The New Zealand Herald has become the first newspaper in New Zealand to reach more than one million readers a week. The figure is revealed in the latest National Readership Survey from Nielsen Media Research based on the period January to December 2002.

The editor-in-chief of the Herald, Gavin Ellis, described the passing of the million reader mark as “a landmark for the paper and a credit to its journalists”

“This is the third readership survey in which the Herald has increased readership. Securing one million readers a week is a gratifying. Our staff have been striving to advance the quality of the Herald and I think this result reflects a recognition of by readers of those improvements,” he said.

The survey covered a period in which there were major news events covered extensively by the Herald such as the Bali bombing and investigations such as the leaking building crisis and Air New Zealand’s woes.

Highlights of the Nielsen Media Research results include a gain of 42,000 readers for the Herald on a typical day, with well over half a million readers picking up the Herald daily.

In its core circulation area, which encompasses the wider North Island from Taupo north and the all-important Auckland market, the Herald has again seen significant growth in penetration (advances in readership ahead of population growth). The Herald's reader penetration has grown to 20% nationally 15+ (593,000) readers nationally and 395,000 Aucklanders.

Within the Auckland market the New Zealand Herald is the leading source of news and information with more people over 15 on a typical day reading the newspaper than watching either One News or TV3 News at home.

The Weekend Herald's ongoing dominance as a weekend newspaper -- with a gain of 72,000* readers since the last survey* -- sees it remain as the most read weekend newspaper, with 711,000 readers aged 15 years and over. In Auckland, the Weekend Herald is still read by more than twice as many people as any other weekend paper (15+).

The Herald has implemented a series of initiatives aimed at both readers and advertisers. The launch of Friday Super Sport, which provides more in-depth sports coverage, has contributed to a single day growth in readership of more than 50,000. Advertising improvements, have included re-designed Real Estate tabloid and Midweek Motoring sections, that are both easier for readers to navigate and a delivers a more powerful vehicle for advertisers.

Chief executive officer Ken Steinke, summing up the readership results, described them as “a strong and pleasing performance again delivering market leading results”.

“Our repeated readership growth, together with the editorial and business accolades the Herald team has received in 2002, is an endorsement of the fact that we are producing a world-class newspaper,” he said.

General manager for sales and marketing, Pip Elliot said repeated readership growth is obviously good news for advertisers.

“Once again our advertisers are seeing more readers - and potential customers - attracted to the Herald. We have also increased our readership in higher income households and have seen a boost to female readership, particularly in provincial areas. These groups are important focal points for advertisers and that is reflected in the increasing use of the Herald by agencies and major national advertisers for campaigns that were not traditionally the domain of newspapers.”

Mr Steinke says believes there is more growth ahead for the New Zealand Herald. He says, "This result is a good platform for the new weekend magazine which is being launched in March and other changes for the paper which have been announced to over a million of our readers in the New Zealand Herald this week."

* 2002 No. 1 survey based on February - December 2001

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