Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


APN to sell South Island titles, Wellington community papers

APN to sell South Island titles, Wellington community newspapers

Nov. 19 (BusinessDesk) – APN News & Media, publisher of the New Zealand Herald, is to sell its South Island newspaper interests, along with its Wellington-based community papers.

In a memo to staff, APN describes the decision to quit the twice-weekly giveaway Christchurch paper, The Star, the Oamaru Mail and a clutch of other small, community titles in the South Island and Wellington as a "strategic decision to consolidate its publishing business in the North Island."

The Star, published Wednesdays and Fridays, has an audited circulation of 71,644, while the Oamaru Mail is one of the country's smallest, with a circulation of just 2,883.

APN has a strategic relationship with the privately held Allied Press, publishers of the Otago Daily Times in Dunedin. Almost all other South Island newspapers are owned by APN's chief competitor, Fairfax Media.

The Star unit also publishes several Canterbury community papers: the North Canterbury News, Pegasus Post, News Advertiser, Selwyn Times, The Observer, and Western News. Its Wellington community newspaper stable, the Capital Community Newspaper Group, is published under the "City Life" brand in several localised editions and competes with Fairfax weekly giveaway papers.

APN will retain the Kapiti News community paper, and announced no further plans relating to any of its other titles in the North Island, which includes Whangarei's Northern Advocate, the Rotorua Post, Bay of Plenty Times, Wairarapa Times-Age, Wanganui Chronicle, and Hawkes Bay Today.

The company announced early this year that its New Zealand assets were all under review and flagged a masthead valuation writedown as journalism moves on-line, with consequent loss of advertising revenue for traditional media.

Dual-listed, but traded mainly on the ASX, APN shares have lost 62.87 percent of their value in the last 12 months, and were trading unchanged today at 31 Australian cents (40 New Zealand cents).

It last commented on the review in October to quash market speculation it had found a buyer for the flagship Herald, servicing New Zealand's largest city, Auckland. Other assets include a half-share of the Newstalk radio station network, top-selling magazines The Listener and New Zealand Woman's Weekly, and an outdoor advertising business.

In the statement to staff, APN says "while the publishing division has enjoyed a long association with the South Island, we see more expansion opportunities in the North Island, which will drive most of New Zealand’s population growth over the next decade and is where most of our New Zealand media businesses are based.

"APN remains strongly committed to New Zealand and we will continue to sell our national magazines and online properties across the country. The company will also continue a major association with Christchurch and the South Island through its 50% ownership of both The Radio Network and APN Outdoor.

The company remained proud of 140 year-old Star's performance after the Feb. 22, 2011 earthquake, when the paper converted to daily publication. It was a daily evening newspaper until the late 1980's.

The company said it intends selling all the businesses as going concerns with staff transferring with the businesses into new ownership, although it was too early to say when sales might occur.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Land & Water Forum: Fourth Report On Water Management

The Land and Water Forum (LWF) today published its fourth report, outlining 60 new consensus recommendations for how New Zealand should improve its management of fresh water and calling on the Government to urgently adopt all of its recommendations from earlier reports. More>>



Welcome Home: Record High Migration Stokes 41-Year High Population Growth

New Zealand annual net migration hit a new high in October as more people arrived from than departed for Australia for the first time in more than 20 years. More>>


Citizens' Advice Bureau: Report Shows Desperate Housing Situation Throughout NZ

CAB's in-depth analysis of over 2000 client enquiries about emergency accommodation shows vulnerable families, pregnant women and children living in cars and garages, even after seeking assistance from the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand. More>>


Speaking For The Bees: Greens Call For Neonicotinoid Pesticide Ban

The National Government should ban the use of controversial pesticides called neonicotinoids after evidence has revealed that even at low doses they cause harm to bee populations, the Green Party said today. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news