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Evening Post Doesn’t Need To Close

25 June 2002

The Evening Post is not losing money and jobs are being lost unnecessarily, Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton says.

Rupert Murdoch’s INL announced yesterday it is closing the Evening Post.

But Jim Anderton said the closure is an example of corporate arrogance that consumers shouldn’t tolerate.

“The Evening Post may have lost readers, but it is not losing money.

“INL has calculated that if it closes the Post, it will make a higher return on capital.

“Mike Robson would never have made this decision. INL’s new management is closing the paper without thought for the jobs that will be lost and the families of its staff.

“If Wellington wants to keep its afternoon paper it needs to tell INL now. INL’s decision is based on cruel calculations about the numbers of readers and advertisers who will switch to the Dominion. Unless Wellington tells INL now that its decision is mistaken, then it will be too late.

As a disclaimer, Jim Anderton said there wasn’t much margin for him politically in saving the Evening Post.

“The Post ranks alongside the National Business Review and the little known Hawkes Bay Today for publishing New Zealand’s most fact-free editorials. Before the last election, the Post confidently predicted that the sun would stop rising if I became Deputy Prime Minister.

“Despite its editorial policies, there are hundreds of Wellington businesses that depend on the Post as an alternative to the Dominion, there are hundreds of people who depend on it for jobs and there are readers who presumably enjoy one of New Zealand’s best sports sections,” Jim Anderton said.

Ends

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