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Waiheke Marketplace To Join Fairfax Media’s Stable


Wednesday 27 August, 2008

MEDIA STATEMENT


Waiheke Marketplace To Join Fairfax Media’s Stable
Of Community Newspapers


Fairfax Media is in the final stages of acquiring the Waiheke Marketplace for an undisclosed sum.

Once the transition is completed - expected to be in the next week - the Waiheke Island weekly free community paper will operate under the Suburban Newspapers Auckland network.

Suburbans general manager David Penny said the paper served a vibrant Hauraki Gulf community.

“Owner Jo Holmes and her staff have created a paper with a fine reputation and Fairfax Media believes there is good potential for growth, but recognises island communities have unique issues.

“We are looking forward to working alongside some very good people and have been impressed with the commitment of the staff to the paper,” he said.

Fairfax Media plans to retain staff and bring increased resources to develop the paper. It is likely the Waiheke Marketplace would become more involved in the local community through increased sponsorship and events.

Mr Penny said Fairfax Media had a wealth of experience in publishing quality community papers, with a countrywide network of more than 60 titles, and an ongoing commitment to those papers, recognising their special place within their communities.

He said he was looking forward to working with the staff, community leaders, associations and businesses, because Fairfax Media welcomed local input on opportunities to improve the paper.

“It is a good newspaper with an established reputation and we think it will fit well within the stable of quality papers throughout Auckland.

Suburban Newspapers Auckland editor in chief David Kemeys said the island, while a part of Auckland, was very much its own community.

“We will have a lot to learn about that community but we also have the wise heads that work on the paper now to advise us.”

Waiheke Marketplace editor George Gardner said she and her team were excited about the resources Fairfax Media would be bringing to the paper.

“Waiheke Marketplace has always cared about the island’s residents and will continue to cover issues of concern and lobby on people’s behalf. Having a big company such as Fairfax Media behind it will make that task so much easier.”

Publisher Jo Holmes said she was delighted Fairfax Media had added Waiheke Marketplace to its family of community newspapers throughout New Zealand.

“The success of Waiheke Marketplace is a tribute to my staff members, our advertisers, contributors, deliverers and readers over the last 10 years. They have created the goodwill in the community that has allowed the newspaper to prosper.

“I can only see a great future for Waiheke Marketplace as the island’s leading newspaper. I will certainly be looking forward to seeing it in my letterbox every week.”

Mr Penny said the deal came on the back of the 2006 purchase of the Rodney Times.

“Waiheke Marketplace fills a gap for us within the greater Auckland area,” he said.

Fairfax now has papers from Pukekohe in the south, right across Auckland, on to the North Shore and into Northland.

“We continue to seek opportunities for growth to serve both our readers and advertisers,” he said.

ENDS


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