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Fairfax Best Positioned To Respond To Economy

31 October 2008

MEDIA STATEMENT


Fairfax Media Best Positioned To Respond To Changing Economic Conditions


Fairfax Media demonstrates its ability to stay in touch with what New Zealanders want to read and how they want to read it when the economic environment around them changes.

The latest Nielsen National Readership results for the 12 month period ended September 2008 show that Fairfax Media’s suite of newspapers and magazines are read by 2.8 million (83.9%) New Zealanders aged 15+.

“Having a great understanding of our readers across the Fairfax stable enables us to respond appropriately and innovatively when economic conditions change. More than ever readers are turning to our newspapers to gain an in-depth understanding of the global issues and how they impact locally. Our magazine titles are equally relevant when it comes to satisfying reader demand for quality lifestyle content,” says Fairfax Media’s Group Head of Publishing, Rodger Shepherd.

Newspapers:

The Sunday Star-Times strong result of 587,000 readers is up 27,000 nationally year on year with growth across all its key markets, increasing its Auckland reach by 14,000 (7.6%), with Wellington up 4,000 (6.3%), Christchurch up 2,000 (3.7%) and Dunedin up 6,000 (31.6%).

“This result highlights the success of improvements made to the Sunday Star-Times such as our new Escape section and our split to three regional editions, which has resonated strongly with readers”, says Shepherd.

Nationally, the metropolitan papers remain consistently strong with The Dominion Post, Waikato Times and The Press being read by 553,000 news-hungry New Zealanders aged 15+ on a typical day.

In particular The Dominion Post now reaches 247,000 readers aged 15+, building on its year on year growth of 3,000 new national readers and increasing its connection within the core Wellington market by 8,000 new readers. The Waikato Times and The Press recorded readership results of 96,000 and 216,000 readers respectively.

Auckland Suburbans continue to be the main way to reach Aucklanders, with titles touching three out of every four Aucklanders 15+ across a week, or 670,000 Aucklanders on an average day, representing a 27,000 increase on the same period last year.

“While Fairfax Media’s Sundays and Metropolitan newspapers do a great job distilling the international news for a local audience, the Suburbans go one step further by supplying news to the immediate community around us. Drilling down to this level is pivotal to community connection and the continued growth of our readership reflects this,” says Fairfax Media’s General Manager Suburbans, David Penny.

Standout performers were the Manukau Courier (up 10,000), the North Shore Times (up 12,000), the North Harbour News (up 13,000) and the East and Bays Courier (up 7,000).

Magazines:

New Zealanders love affair with Fairfax magazines continues with more than two million people aged 10+ finding a Fairfax title which resonates with their lifestyle.

“Our ability to remain relevant and fresh to consumers when their own priorities could be changing is key to readership growth across our stable,” said Fairfax Magazines General Manager, Lynley Belton.

Cuisine was rewarded by maintaining its category leadership status, securing 382,000 passionate readers 10 years+, up 21,000 (or 5.8%) year on year.

NZ Gardener delivered another stellar result with green-fingered enthusiasts embracing the innovation shown by the publication on the gardening front. Readership leapt up 27.5% (55,000 readers) to 255,000 aged 10+ as NZ Gardener arms readers with practical tips and inspiration.

“We understand that increasingly, many people gain immense satisfaction from growing their own produce, or cooking a meal at home rather than going out. Our suite of publications inspires readers, and they are responding with typical relish and loyalty,” says Belton.

Fairfax weekly magazine titles, Sunday Magazine (inserted in the Sunday Star-Times) and The TV Guide buck wider weekly magazine market trends as they enjoy a surge of new readers.

The TV Guide, New Zealand’s third most popular weekly magazine with 762,000 readers 10 years+, is up a further 21,000. The fourth most popular with 566,000 readers is Sunday Magazine which attracted a further 17,000 readers on the previous quarter. ‘Sunday’ is the only national inserted magazine to see an upturn in readership and rounds off a strong performance overall from Fairfax magazines.

Fairfax Media launched its new weekly Newspaper Inserted Magazine, ‘Your Weekend’* in September this year to further cement its position in the weekly magazine market. Initial feedback indicates a strengthened connection with metropolitan readers and Your Weekend will debut with a launch figure in the 2009 Nielsen Readership Survey.

* Inserted into the Saturday editions of The Dominion Post, Waikato Times and The Press

Sources: Nielsen National Readership Survey Q4 2006 – Q3 2007 (Previous Year)
Nielsen National Readership Survey Q3 2007- Q2 2008 (Previous Period)
Nielsen National Readership Survey Q4 2007 – Q3 2008


ENDS

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