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Fairfax To Purchase Rodney Times Publications

September 5th 2005

Fairfax To Purchase Rodney Times Publications

The Warkworth-based Rodney Times newspaper group has agreed to sell its publications to Fairfax New Zealand Limited.

Fairfax NZ Chief Executive Officer Joan Withers and Times Media Group Ltd Managing Director Tony Cook announced the agreement today. It is subject to regulatory approval.

Fairfax will purchase publications and operating assets (other than printing operations) including the flagship 104-year-old Rodney Times, the Coaster (a weekly servicing the Hibiscus Coast) and Outlook, a regional real estate guide.

Joan Withers said Fairfax was delighted to have reached agreement with the Cook family, who have owned the main title for three generations, since William Thompson Rauparaha Cook became proprietor of the Rodney and Otamatea Times in 1917.

``The Rodney Times has an outstanding history and it is an iconic community newspaper in this country,’’ Joan Withers said.

``Fairfax wishes to build on the newspaper’s commitment to coverage of local news and issues, and will ensure it develops a strong tradition of independent, objective journalism as is the case elsewhere in our stable of publications across New Zealand.

``The Rodney Times group of publications are located in a tremendous growth area, and Fairfax is delighted that it has been able to reach agreement with the current owners. The group of publications offer great prospects for the future.

``We look forward to working with the current employees who take pride in delivering a quality news product to their district.’’

All staff will be offered a transfer to the new owners on current terms and conditions of employment.

Tony Cook said the company had been proudly serving the Rodney district for almost 90 years but the time had come to sell this part of the business.

``The success of the publishing titles and particularly the award-winning Rodney Times has been due to its involvement with the community across the county and to our dedicated staff. I’m pleased that we’ve sold to a publisher which has high standards of journalism and service, and which will look after the interests of customers and staff as well as continue to strengthen and grow the business,’’ Tony Cook said.

ENDS

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