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Waikato Times Weekend Edition Launch A Success

Waikato Times Morning Weekend Edition Successfully Launched

Wellington, NZ, July 10, 2003 -- The Waikato Times morning weekend edition, launched last Saturday, July 5, has been enthusiastically welcomed by readers and advertisers.

The paper, with a new-look masthead and 20 extra news pages, sold 2000, or nearly 5%, more copies than the previous Saturday.

Readers phoned the hotline to praise the content, design and the time of delivery.

"Ten out of ten," one reader said in a call. "The paper is absolutely wonderful and so is the delivery." Another said: "At long last a classy morning paper that reflects our region."

The first morning edition rolled off the press just after midnight. The paper has guaranteed delivery to its 112,000 readers by 7.30am.

Brian Evans, CEO of Fairfax NZ, publisher of The Waikato Times, said, “This is an excellent start and the result of a committed team pulling together to give a better and bigger paper to the community it serves so well."

The new-look paper has six news sections - News, World, Business and Sport, Magazine and Show! The classified section, branded Marketplace, contains jobs, general classifieds and real estate.

Additions include new features and writers, an extended weather page, more television and entertainment information and a Good Times section that celebrates the best places to eat, drink and visit in the Waikato.

The extended business section includes Business Day features, property and technology features and columns by Gareth Morgan and Terry Hall.

The first issue of the morning edition had a two-page spread on the Best of the Waikato, based on a survey of hundreds of readers.

Planning for the morning edition began in January after discussions about wet winter weekends and time of delivery. Editor Venetia Sherson said the response to the paper had exceeded expectations.

General Manager David Mackenzie said advertising support also indicated the newspaper was meeting demand in terms of time of delivery and content.

"We were significantly up in volume on the same day last week which demonstrates the strong support." He said the marketing campaign that included billboards, radio and print ads would continue for several weeks to enhance awareness of the new product.

Mr Mackenzie reported that the last word went to a caller who said everything about the paper was perfect, apart from one small problem.

"We thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the breakfast table reading our paper. The problem was, we then had to rewrap it and take it to the gate in the afternoon so the dog could continue his daily ritual of bringing in the afternoon paper."

ENDS

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