Monday 19th November 2012
|Text too small?|
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.
NOTE: please be advised to read full articles from Business Desk Website, you will have to pay a subscription fee on their website.
No comments yet
Veteran newsman Rick Neville leaves APN for lobbying role
APN News heading to court over $48M tax dispute with IRD
APN’s NZ shares plunge to record low on board exodus; ahead of ASX trading
APN bosses, independent directors go as Independent News flexes muscle
Independent News installs Connolly, O'Brien nominee, to APN board
Nothing to see here, says APN
APN triples 1H loss as it writes down NZ publishing by A$485M
APN appoints Greenhill Caliburn founder Peter Hunt as new chairman
APN appoints Deutsche Bank for strategic review of NZ assets
APN chairman O'Reilly steps down