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Fairfax Media goes live with new Atex Genera Tech.

MEDIA RELEASE
4 September, 2006


Fairfax Media goes live with new Atex Genera Technology

A milestone was passed at The Manawatu Standard this morning [Monday, 4 September 2006] when the first editorial page was produced using the latest Atex Genera electronic production system.

The Manawatu Standard is the first Fairfax Media publication to convert to the new editorial, advertising and web system which will be progressively introduced to Fairfax Media publications right across New Zealand in the next few years.

Congratulating Manawatu Standard staff for achieving what he described as an important step into the future, Fairfax Media Editor in Chief, Peter O’Hara, said the introduction of Genera was a significant investment for Fairfax.

“Having all our publications on one platform, instead of the numerous production systems we have at the moment, will allow many opportunities in company-wide co-operation in both advertising and editorial,” he said.

“The spirit with which the Standard’s staff undertook to be ‘first cab off the rank’ has been well appreciated, and we wish them all the best as they complete first the Genera editorial system and then the advertising system.”

At all Fairfax Media publication sites, the editorial system will be introduced first, followed by advertising about two months later.

Manawatu Standard General Manager Gerard Watt thanked his staff for the hard work they had done in getting to this stage.

Sport and racing sections are the first pages to be produced through the new system, and the number of pages produced through Genera will progressively grow over the next few weeks as more staff are trained. Community newspapers produced by the Standard will also be moved to the new system.

Editorial work using the existing legacy Atex system will be phased out over the same period.

“While much remains to be done as we produce more pages through Genera, I want to thank the staff for the hard work done to reach this stage. It has been a huge effort.

The Genera system also presents us with an opportunity to really scrutinise our current workflows, internal systems and practices. It's especially pleasing to see our staff contributing fully in identifying areas that we can work better - the feedback from staff to date has been excellent," Mr Watt said.

Fairfax Media’s Genera Programme Manager Celia Bailey described the “go-live” at Manawatu as a very good effort.

Editorial Project Leader Michael Stevens said the Standard, over the past few months, had carried out the massive task of analysing every operation the newspaper undertook to produce its publications, rebuilt them for the more efficient Genera system, and then tested them before the first “go-live” this morning.

Editorial at the Manawatu Standard is expected to be completely produced by Atex Genera about September 22.

Next Fairfax publication to convert is Wellington’s Dominion Post. The “go-live” process will start on October 9. It will be followed by Central Community Newspapers, Wellington, the Taranaki Daily News and the Waikato Times.

The entire project for both editorial and advertising across the group will last until late 2008 and early 2009.

ENDS

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