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Fairfax’s metropolitan papers scale new heights

MEDIA RELEASE: Fairfax Media’s metropolitan papers scale new heights

EMBARGOED until midday Friday, October 30 2009

In the latest Nielsen National Readership Survey, Fairfax Media’s metropolitan newspapers – The Dominion Post, Waikato Times and The Press - have outperformed the market in readership gains, growing year on year by 17,000 readers to reach 570,000 New Zealanders aged 15+.

With 104,000 readers, Waikato Times is the fourth biggest metropolitan paper in the country. Following a revamp with additional feature sections, the popular paper has grown 8.3% in the last year - the biggest increase for any metropolitan newspaper in New Zealand.

Editor Bryce Johns says the secret is focussing more than ever on the things that really matter to readers and ensuring the paper is 100% relevant to the market it’s being published in.

"We did a readership review and formed a Waikato As It Gets team based on the feedback. We've put more space and more reporting resource into Waikato issues.
Clearly it's working. We've been awarded best NZ daily paper and have a growing circulation. And the simple maths is this - we have 80 plus journalists in the Waikato while no other media organisation has more than two."

Like the Waikato Times, The Press has also benefitted from a major revamp, increasing its readers aged 15+ by an additional 3.2% compared to the same period last year. Increased penetration also means it now reaches half of all people in the Christchurch area.

Readers are also staying loyal to The Dominion Post, which now engages with 247,000 readers aged 15+ including 145,000 in Wellington, up 3.6%.

Group executive editor Paul Thompson said all Fairfax Media newspapers were making a concerted effort to increase readership in print and online by giving readers more of what they want – compelling and unique local news and analysis.

“Our editors throughout New Zealand are lifting the quality and quantity of their exclusive local coverage and readers are clearly responding favourably. No other media cover the communities we serve with such depth and vigour.”

Cementing Fairfax’s powerful reach in key metropolitan markets is newspaper inserted magazine Your Weekend, which launched just over a year ago and now attracts a phenomenal audience of 483,000 readers aged 10+. Your Weekend has become the fifth best read weekly magazine in New Zealand.

Sunday Star-Times has grown by 4,000 readers aged 10+ in the last year, reinforcing its position as New Zealand’s most read Sunday newspaper with a reach of 591,000 New Zealanders aged 10+.

On the magazine front, NZ Gardener continues its massive growth trajectory, now reaching 312,000 readers aged 10+, up 22.4% in the last year. Likewise, readers are responding favourably to the fresh direction at Cuisine magazine led by talented editor Eric Matthews, the audience swelling by 6.3% in the last year.

Fairfax magazines has a total reach of nearly 2.2 million New Zealanders aged 10+, growing by a massive 105,000 readers year on year.

Source :
* Nielsen National Readership Survey Q4 2008 – Q3 2009

* Nielsen National Readership Survey Q3 2008 – Q2 2009 (Previous Period)

* Nielsen National Readership Survey Q4 2007 – Q3 2008 (Previous Year)

ENDS

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