APN

APN to divest of NZME; a matter of cashing up before it keels over

This is what happens when the accountant has been put in charge and you’ve lost the trust and confidence of your customers.

NZME chief executive Michael Boggs will spend the next 10 days meeting and greeting current and potential investors after APN News & Media shareholders overwhelmingly backed plans to carve out the New Zealand unit.

The Auckland-based publisher and radio network operator will operate as a standalone listed company after the plan to demerge NZME got 99.98 percent backing at Thursday’s special meeting in Sydney.

The transaction will see a one-for-seven share consolidation in the Australian company, then a distribution of NZME shares to those investors on a one-for-one basis. The deal then frees up APN to focus on Australian radio and outside advertising business, while NZME can pursue its merger with rival Fairfax New Zealand.

Boggs told BusinessDesk he’s about to hit the road to meet current and potential shareholders in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney and Melbourne over the next seven to 10 days to engage and get feedback from shareholders on their views of NZME and where they think the media group should be heading.

“We now can control our own decision making around capital investment and funding,” Boggs said.

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Will local news media become like boutique breweries?

In 2012 I was invited to speak at the New Zealand Community Newspapers Association awards dinner.

I made my speech about how the future of publishing news was in their hands and they didn’t even know it.

As Fairfax and APN (then, NZME. now) got bigger they had ignored the local news. They concentrated more and more on Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

Those papers that did the basics well locally were actually able to grow if they just thought about it and got even more parochial. Even in Auckland there were opportunities, like the Howick and Pakuranaga Times…unfortunately they were at the time in the thrall of a couple of wide boys talking the big game in digital without even bothering to understand their audience or what they were even doing.

Karl du Fresne has a blog post about just those sorts of sentiments, that “boutique” is profitable and lucrative and perhaps the way of the future for local news.

It’s rare these days to hear about any development in the news media that’s worth celebrating, but the announcement that the Wairarapa Times-Age is reverting to local ownership is a tonic.

After 12 years in what is now the NZME (previously known as APN) stable, the Masterton-based Monday-Friday paper is being bought by its general manager, Andrew Denholm. My guess is that other local money is involved, although I have no inside knowledge.

The news is encouraging for several reasons. For a start, it represents a tiny reversal of a trend that has greatly diminished the relevance of local papers.

The process of agglomeration by which provincial papers such as the Times-Age were gobbled up in the late 20th century by the two big industry players of the time, INL and Wilson and Horton, was once overwhelmingly positive for the industry.

It gave small, previously family-owned papers access to capital with which to invest in vital new technology. It brought them into a nationwide career structure that lifted professional standards and it also meant that small papers were less likely to be captive to local parochial interests.

That all worked well while the two big companies remained in New Zealand hands. The turning point came when the Australian outfits Fairfax (which acquired INL) and APN (which bought Wilson and Horton) moved in.

Australian ownership has not been good for the New Zealand print media. Their disregard for the New Zealand way of doing things was never more obvious than when they dismantled the New Zealand Press Association, thus ending a system of news sharing that had lasted more than a century and ensured that newspaper readers in Whangarei and Gisborne knew about things of importance that were happening in Invercargill and Greymouth.

Sharing wasn’t the Australian way, so it was scrapped.

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Feel the fear, that sound you hear is journalist’s knees knocking together

The Media party are shaking in their boots.

After years of degrading their mastheads to the status of clickbait sites they are now facing mass redundancy.

Trade Union leaders are worried that a merger would have serious consequences for NZME and Fairfax NZ staff.

Hundreds of New Zealand journalists face an uncertain future if the planned merger gets the green light.

Media companies Fairfax and APN have told the New Zealand Stock exchange they are in talks about merging their New Zealand businesses by the end of 2016.

NZME – the New Zealand arm of APN – owns several North Island daily papers and radio stations, while Fairfax’s media portfolio includes newspapers, magazines, such as Cuisine, TV Guide and NZ House & Garden, and the country’s most-visited news website Stuff.co.nz.    Read more »

Media’s Thelma and Louise strategy

With talks of a merger between NZME (publisher of the Herald) and Fairfax surely they will be considering the name “Ferald” for the new organisation?

Two of New Zealand’s largest media companies have confirmed they are in talks to merge.

The Australian parents Fairfax Media and APN said on Wednesday they are in “exclusive discussions to merge their NZ businesses” and list on stock exchanges on both sides of the Tasman.

The New Zealand businesses are Fairfax NZ and NZME respectively.

Between them, they publish Stuff, The Sunday Star-Times, The Dominion Post, The Press (Fairfax NZ), and the NZ Herald, Hawke’s Bay Today and Herald on Sunday (NZME), and other newspapers and magazines. NZME also operates radio stations including NewstalkZB and Radio Sport.    Read more »

They seem to be missing a word in the headline

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 9.35.18 PM

The NZ Herald has joined in with the Media party pile on regarding the Panama Papers.

Hamish Fletcher has joined the other idiot journalists clutching at straws. and decided to call NZ a tax haven and talk about tax evasion schemes.

New Zealand is complicit in tax avoidance schemes, says an academic.

“It’s shameful for New Zealand to be caught up in international tax avoidance,” Deborah Russell from Massey’s School of Accountancy said this afternoon.

“The loophole in our laws that allows New Zealand foreign trusts to escape taxation has been known about for years, but nothing has been done to shut it down. This makes us complicit in schemes to avoid tax,” she said.

Another tax law expert has also said that the rules around the what foreigners with New Zealand trusts must disclose to Inland Revenue are “weak”.

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Hey Heather, did you know the Herald, who published your column, is a tax dodger too?

So, Heather du Plessis-Allan is being paid to write a column and she chooses tax dodging corporations as her target, failing to mention the tens of millions her employer is under investigation for “evading”.

The plumber is coming around to fix the leaky kitchen sink this week.

I’ve written him a note.

“DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT ASKING FOR A CASHIE!”

I hope the capitals make it clear we don’t like tax dodgers of his sort.

The only sort of tax dodgers we like are the ones who drive cars as pricey as three-bedroom houses, wear clothing designed by people with Italian names and yet earn a surprisingly low income.

Or, in her case, she is perfectly happy to accept pay from a corporate tax dodger like the NZ Herald.   Read more »

Native Advertising: Camouflaged ads that look like news stories

As you have seen, both the NZ Herald (APN) and Stuff (through their newspapers, and Fairfax) are trying to keep the ship afloat by hiding advertising inside stories.   This is a world-wide phenomenon.

Enjoy this primer on Native Advertising:  (If you don’t have time now, check it out later – it is worth your time)

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Fairfax hypocrites enter native advertising scam as well

September seems to have been the month to launch the biggest scam in news yet.

Native advertising…the fancy word that editorial bosses use to describe advertising dressed up as articles to fool the punters.

Yesterday I blogged about the Herald hypocrites and today we can see Fairfax are at it too.

Ironically it is 2Degrees that is into this boots and all at Fairfax.

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And in other news: The Standard to host Whaleoil web site… yeah right

If you think that’s absurd…

sdfd

 

Fairfax Media has reached agreement with rival APN News & Media to have newspapers including The Waikato Times, Sunday Star-Times, Sunday News and some community titles printed at APN’s modernised print facility at Ellerslie in Auckland.

The deal would allow APN to use spare capacity at the printing facility and help the publisher of the New Zealand Herald wring out cost savings, APN chief executive Michael Miller said. The Australian company is on track to achieve a further A$20 million in cost savings across its publishing businesses this year, having trimmed A$40 million in 2013 from changes that included consolidating printing of a number of its own titles at Ellerslie, he said.

So Fairfax will make APN more profitable by taking up their spare printing capacity.   Yeah, that’s not odd at all.   Read more »

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APN buys 100% WOBH, Appoints Slater as New Media Editor

MARKET ANNOUNCEMENT

APN TO ACQUIRE 100% OF WHALE OIL BEEF HOOKED  BLOG ASSETS
– APN to move to full ownership of WOBH for $4.273 million
– Purchase price represents an a random number dreamed up by all concerned.
– APN confident in new media as a growth medium and in the ability of WOBH to continue increasing market share
– Majority of APN’s earnings post-Acquisition expected to be in growth businesses (radio, outdoor and digital)
– Exclusive 10 year agreement with WOBH and editor Cam Slater secured to operate WOBH and broadcast a new blog radio show via the iHeartRadio digital radio platform in New Zealand
– APN appoints Cam Slater as New Media Editor

Overview
SYDNEY, 19 February, 2014 – APN News & Media Limited [ASX, NZX: APN] today announced that it will acquire full ownership of Whale Oil Beef Hooked (‘WOBH’) for an enormous amount of hooter (the ‘Acquisition’). The purchase price represents a big truck load of cash beeping backwards into the loading bay of Slater’s bank.

As a result of the Acquisition, APN will own 100% of the largest and most effective news and political blog with an audience that exceeds most of the rest of their stable of newspapers. and even some of their radio assets. WOBH writes for an audience that exceeds 2.5 million page views each month. Read more »