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Titles perform well in circulation results

Media Statement

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL Midnight (00:00) 6 November 2006


Fairfax Media titles perform well in the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) results

The latest newspaper circulation results confirm Fairfax Media’s dominance of the Sunday market and demonstrate good growth for its daily titles – including a 10 year circulation high for the Waikato Times.

Fairfax Media Chief Executive Joan Withers says: “In a period where the marketplace has experienced the impact of increased petrol prices, higher power bills and a softening economy, the company’s titles have for the main part either maintained their position or experienced pleasing growth in the September ABC audit.”

Mrs Withers says: “The daily newspaper market saw year-on-year increases for key North Island metro newspapers including a stand out performance by the Waikato Times which continued its strong performance from recent surveys by producing an audited circulation figure of 42,104 - the highest for more than 10 years.”

The Dominion Post (98,256) turned in a solid year-on-year performance and the Fairfax metropolitan newspapers were again well supported by their regional titles - The Southland Times (29,384) and the Taranaki Daily News (26,510).

The Press (89,027), recent winner of the Qantas awards Newspaper of the Year title, experienced two unusual incidents which affected its result. Printing press problems meant two Saturday papers weren’t produced and a weekday paper was affected by heavy snowfall throughout its distribution area. This contributed to a result which was below the previous year. The Press continues to provide the South Island with its leading daily newspaper reaching 234,000 South Islanders (15+). In its core Christchurch market The Press reaches 82% of people 15+ over the course of a week.

While experiencing some year-on-year reduction in the highly competitive weekend market, The Sunday Star-Times (190,804) and The Sunday News (96,279) maintained their positions as the leading Sunday titles. This was also reflected in the recent Nielsen Media Research readership survey which demonstrated that the two titles are read by 842,000 New Zealanders in a typical weekend, based on all people 10yrs+.

This was the first full audit for The Independent since Fairfax acquired the title and during the audit period the newspaper re-launched as the Independent Financial Review. Net paid circulation for the six months to September 2006 was 3,255, excluding promotional copies distributed monthly to members of the Exporters Institute and the Chartered Secretaries New Zealand as part of contract publishing arrangements. Going forward the focus of the Independent Financial Review will be on growing individually paid circulation. Recent six month Nielsen readership figures show 30,000 people are turning to The Independent Financial Review each week, including 46% with household incomes of $100,000+.

Bernard Hickey, Managing Editor, Fairfax Business Publishing, says: “We’re thrilled with the initial feedback and readership measures. Business leaders and executives regularly tell us they are reading the newspaper more often and for longer. They’re particularly appreciating the new insight and the fresh look of the publication.”

ENDS

Sources:
Audit Bureau of Circulation 6 months ending September 2006
Nielsen Media Research National Readership Survey July 05 – June 06.
Nielsen Media Research National Readership Survey (new publications) Jan-Jun 2006

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