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Fairfax Media Adds Hawke’s Bay Communities

February 25 2008

Fairfax Media Adds Hawke’s Bay Communities To Its Stable

The Napier Mail, The Hastings Mail and HB Country Scene purchased by Fairfax Media

Fairfax Media has purchased Mail Newspapers (HB) Limited, publishers of three Hawke’s Bay community newspapers for an undisclosed sum.

The publications are the weekly The Napier Mail (circulation 24,860) and The Hastings Mail (20,189), distributed free of charge to urban households, and HB Country Scene (9000) published monthly, and distributed free in country areas between Takapau and Wairoa.

Fairfax Media will integrate the three publications into its community newspaper platform of more than 50 titles that stretch from Northland to Southland.

Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Media, Ms Joan Withers, said the founder and major shareholder of the Mail newspapers, Paul Wilson, will remain as Managing Editor.

“The mandate given to Paul is to grow the newspapers and business to their full potential,” she said.

“Local newspapers are an important part of the fabric of a community, both in informing people as to what is occurring in their neighbourhood, and in giving them an outlet for expressing their views.

“Research shows they often rate as more important and achieve higher readership levels than an area’s metropolitan or regional newspaper.”

Ms Withers said that the three Mail titles had, by focusing on local, relevant and topical content established themselves as a successful newspaper grouping in the competitive Hawke’s Bay market.

“Through the editorial, advertising and support resources Fairfax Media will make available, we are confident that all three titles will continue to grow in importance and relevance to the Bay community,” she said.

“The Dominion Post has been providing the Hawke’s Bay with its national and international news for more than 60 years, and now we will be adding local content to the mix.”

The three titles will continue to be domiciled and published in the Bay.

Mr Wilson was the driving force behind the founding of The Napier Mail seven years ago, and subsequently added The Hastings Mail and HB Country Scene to his stable.

Mr Wilson said the motivation for selling the titles was to take them through to the next stage of their development.

“We have taken the titles as far as possible given the resources available to an independent publisher.

“You only have to look at the quality and success of Fairfax Media’s community newspapers to know they are committed to resourcing, and investing in their development.

“As founders we have put too much effort into the development stage, and have too many ideas for taking them to the next level, to hold them back through lack of future resource.

“This development is an exciting one for the newspapers, and for the communities they serve.”

Fairfax Media is this country’s largest media company. It publishes more than 60 newspapers, 16 magazines and has a significant digital/online division. Among its properties are The Dominion Post, The Press, The Sunday Star-Times, Cuisine, NZ House & Garden and Trade Me is also part of the Fairfax Media group of companies.


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