Fairfax Media

Marlborough Express should have tried doing their bloody job!

The Marlborough Express is having a crisis of confidence at the moment.

The Marlborough Express has warned that it can?t go on as a daily paper forever and it is considering new ideas, including reporting sponsored by readers and printing on fewer days of the week. Could other local papers with sagging sales?go the same way?

The Blenheim-based daily paper has launched a project it calls Express of the Future to “rethink the way we fund local news and sustain the future of local journalism in this region.”

“Digital audiences are growing rapidly and people are slowly moving away from print and advertising revenues are declining,”?Fairfax Media’s Marlborough editor Nicola Coburn wrote.

“At some point in the future, we will not be able to sustain a daily newspaper. The time has come to change,” she warned.

The staff, local businesses, advertisers and readers are all being asked for their ideas.

Nicola Coburn has even invited readers drop in for a chat in the mornings. If they’re shy, they can put a sticky note suggestion on a wall set aside for the purpose.

The editor?s article also said: “We have a strong initial plan.” So how much influence will the local readers and advertisers really have in this process of rethinking the provision of local news?

Mediawatch’s request for an interview was moved up the chain to Fairfax?s senior editor in the South Island, Joanna Norris, who is also editor of Christchurch’s daily The Press.

Joanna Norris said rumours about closing the Express have been circulating after Fairfax Media conducted some audience research in the are recently – but they’re false.? Read more »

Dodgy Labor ratbag Daystari quits amid a donations scandal

What is it with the Labor party in Australia and their dodgy ratbag MPs taking a bung all the time?

Embattled Labor senator Sam Dastyari has fallen on his sword, resigning from his frontbench roles as the donation scandal that engulfed him over the past week reached a crescendo.

The 33-year-old NSW senator quit as manager of opposition business in the Senate and shadow spokesman for consumer affairs, hours after Fairfax Media revealed he may have broken Labor Party rules on political donations by allowing Chinese donors to make payments on his behalf for travel and legal bills.

His resignation comes just 24 hours after the senator held an ‘ask me anything’ press conference, where he said that while he’d been “admonished” by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, he had not been asked to resign or offered his resignation.

The furore was first triggered last week after Fairfax Media revealed Senator Dastyari had a business with links to the Chinese governmentpay a personal bill. It escalated when it emerged he appeared to take a pro-China line that contradicted Labor policy on the South China Sea and came to a head with new questions on Wednesday. ? Read more »

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.

Read more »


Media Merger NEW name competition

Hmmmm name for the NZ Media Merger.....

Hmmmm a new name for the NZ Media Merger…..

Fairfax and NZME intend to merge. They need our help coming up with their new name. We have already been treated to the very memorable name ‘Newshub’ so let’s get cracking on merging the different names together.

NZME is the ?publisher of the New Zealand Herald?and Fairfax Media is the publisher of ?Stuff.co.nz and New Zealand newspapers including the Dominion Post, The Press and the Waikato Times.

So these are the names that we can merge to create the new company. To make it easier for your creative juices to flow I have listed them below.

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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 »

Fairfax woes continue as results show 12% drop in ad revenue

The online world, something existing media don’t understand, is killing mainstream media as sure as low dose strychnine kills a granny.

NBR reports on the slow demise of Fairfax:

Fairfax Media’s New Zealand division posted a 12% drop in first-half earnings as the publisher of stuff.co.nz and the Dominion Post, Press and Sunday-Star Times newspapers said gains in its online revenue didn’t offset the ongoing advertising decline in its traditional print publications.

Earnings before interest, tax, and depreciation fell to $30.3 million in the six months ended December 27, from $34.4 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement. Sales from its New Zealand business were down 7.4% to $181.4 million, with the dominant advertising revenue falling 9.2% to $119.8 million.

Advertising revenue was impacted by weak market conditions in New Zealand, Fairfax said in slides accompanying its earnings presentation. Supermarket, retail and employment advertising declines were offset by strong performance in real estate and health, it said.

The New Zealand division increased digital revenue 43% without disclosing any detail. It also said its flagship stuff.co.nz website retained its top spot among domestic websites, lifting its unique audience 4.6% to 1.8 million in January from the same month a year earlier, ahead of online auction site Trade Me, a former Fairfax subsidiary, which posted a 9.4% decline to 1.7 million. Rival news service nzherald.co.nz, owned by APN News & Media, increased its audience 22% to 1.5 million.

Read more »

Why the shock? The writing has been on the wall for years


Apparently Fairfax staff are shocked that 70 of them got the arse card yesterday.

It surely couldn’t have been a surprise that the business was poked. Fairfax outsourced?a large chunk of?their printing last year…to the NZ Herald. With decisions like that it is little wonder they are going down the gurgler.

But staff are shocked?

Dozens of New Zealand jobs are in the air after Fairfax Media decided to end an experiment sharing work between its Australian and New Zealand operations and instead outsource subediting work.

At an announcement this afternoon approximately 70 full-time sub-editing staff – many from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch listening in via phone conferencing – were told of a proposal to make their jobs redundant.

The affected staff process stories for Australian sister titles including the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review and The Age. ? Read more »

Journalist outraged after being hacked…cry me a river of tears

I said it was only a matter of time before someone hacked some journalists…and they have…and boy are they outraged about it.

When this journalist was hacked however the same ones who are aghast at this latest case were delving into all my hacked details as fast as they could.

Excuse me if I don’t just throw up a little bit in my mouth over the rank hypocrisy of this.

An investigative journalist is outraged her phone was hacked by telco giant Vodafone because of a damaging story.

The company’s today admitted a lone employee accessed call charge records and text messages in January 2011.? Read more »

The Australian on media and social media

The Australian editorial piece yesterday about media and social media is enlightening.

I’ve trimmed out the Australian centric preamble, but the last two paragraphs are particularly relevant to our media landscape in New Zealand.

The trashing of media standards, devaluing of journalistic experience and persistent tendency for even traditional media stalwarts such as The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age to allow the social media tail to wag their editorial direction is a live issue of public concern. The interplay between media and politics is crucial for any democracy, and no less so because the landscape is changing with tectonic shifts in the digital landscape. Crucial elements such as experience, fairness, good taste and social responsibility should not be sacrificed in the pursuit of Twitter-generated clicks or Facebook shares. To be sure, boosting online and mobile readership must be a crucial element in any strategy for print, radio or television. But if the quality of the product is diminished in the process, then rather than avert the road to ruin, companies may find a short cut. ? Read more »

Hockey smashes Fairfax for defamation

Joe Hockey has scored a $200,000 damages award from Fairfax for them suggesting on their front page that he was for sale.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has had a partial victory in his defamation case?against Fairfax Media, with a court finding he was defamed by the words ‘Treasurer for Sale’ on a poster and two tweets and awarding him $200,000 in damages.

However, Federal Court Justice Richard ruled on Tuesday that the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times had not defamed him by publishing a series of articles on May 5 last year about the operation of a Liberal Party fundraising body, the North Sydney Forum.

Justice White awarded Mr Hockey $120,000 damages for the Herald poster?and $80,000 for the two tweets from The Age‘s Twitter account.

He said that in the case of the Herald, the defence of qualified privilege would have been defeated because of malice on the part of the publisher. ? Read more »