APN Fairfax NZ merger?

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, May 10th, 2016 - 19 comments
Categories: broadcasting, capitalism, democracy under attack, journalism, newspapers - Tags: , , , ,

Australian sources are reporting:

APN and Fairfax mull over kiwi merger

APN News & Media and Fairfax Media are considering a merger of their New Zealand businesses.

APN owns The Herald and Newstalk ZB, Fairfax publishes the Dominion Post and the other Stuff resources.

There is no guarantee of a tie up between Fairfax and APN and any deal would be subject to New Zealand’s competition regulator, the Commerce Commission.

According to RNZ:

Media company in shock trading halt

The Australian Stock Exchange has halted share trading in stock of New Zealand Herald and Newstalk ZB’s parent company APN News & Media.

The exchange said this was pending an announcement due to be made to the market on Wednesday morning. … No other details were available. However media reports in Australia speculate that APN is considering hiving off its New Zealand assets and merging them with the New Zealand assets of Fairfax.

This is bad news for journalism in NZ – there will be fewer outlets concentrated in fewer hands. This is bad news for journalists in NZ – no doubt many of them will lose their jobs in the name of “efficiencies”.

A healthy democracy requires a healthy media, and in NZ both are getting sicker.

19 comments on “APN Fairfax NZ merger?”

  1. Ovid 1

    It is very likely that Stuff and the Herald will institute paywalls if they merge. The only reason they haven’t so far is because they are in a standoff with one another.

    • Kevin 1.1

      Bring on the paywalls.

      Stuff behind a paywall would be so farcical and its demise would be a breath of fresh air.

  2. ianmac 2

    The Key Government would be thrilled at a merger. Then they would just need to kneecap National Radio. Further.

  3. BM 3

    Be good if they do merge and go behind a pay wall.

    Clears the deck for a NZ company to step in and fill the void.

  4. roy cartland 4

    Pay to read Stuff and the Herald??!! Who did they get to advise that, Mark Weldon?

  5. Richardrawshark 5

    I think your dreaming if you think they will paywall it all, I am of a definite opinion it’s an essential tool of the Tory’s and tory shareholders, board members, they need this medium to control the masses, get their message across, Labour sux, and that in some way, will be far too hard for them to give up.

    Instead I believe this is the worst thing to ever happen to New Zealand’s News quality.

    We are royally screwed and done a disservice as a nation if this amalgamation is allowed.

  6. Ad 6

    Beyond likely Commerce Commission approval, they will inevitably shrink. It’s just lifeboat commerce.

    But it really cements the place of the top 5 blogs as the print and tv news media’s rapid replacements.

    The Standard could merge with Scoop and take them on.
    Become the new Guardian. Here.

    • alwyn 6.1

      “Become the new Guardian. Here.”
      be careful what you wish for. The Guardian is really no more viable that are Stuff and APN. It loses money every year. It has been steadily selling off every part of the business that is profitable and that was making money for them. In addition it has been cutting staff.

      From Wikipedia
      “Between 2007 and 2014 The Guardian Media Group sold all their side businesses, of regional papers and online portals for classifieds and consolidated, into the Guardian as sole product. The sales let them acquire a capital stock of £838.3m as of July 2014, supposed to guarantee the independence of the Guardian in perpetuity. In the first year, the paper made more losses than predicted, and in January 2016 the publishers announced, that the Guardian will cut 20% of staff and costs within the next three years”.

      Their capital sounds like a lot of money but the losses will exhaust the kitty in about 10 years, I believe.
      In the end they might, like the Graham family with the Washington Post, have to find someone like Bezos with unlimited money to take it over.

  7. Richardrawshark 7

    To be honest I just want a good news sources that’s asks hard questions no matter the political party of the day. Sorry that includes us. I am a believer in criticism of the right sort improves outcomes.

    Not one controlling them all.

    I also have weird idea’s that a News room should not be under any control from anyone but the news team with no political agenda neutral and report the facts.

    I also wish fairies were real and it rained ice cream. oh well.

  8. save nz 9

    Probably just trying to keep their share price up and be relevant, when increasingly they are out of touch and just cheerleading National propaganda.

    They should not be allowed to merge, but since they say the same thing, it will not affect the quality of journalism (both hideously bad) but will effect jobs and less competition on advertising.

  9. TC 10

    Yet another reason for publicly funded independant media. murdochs papers bleed cash but they remain to wield influence in his favour.

    These 2 are just delaying the inevitable as they are yesterdays media despetately clinging on offering no substance just shilling for their owners.

  10. Philj 11

    Are two low quality media monoliths better than one? We need a quality, truly independent broadcaster that can be trusted. A sad reflection on the state of our Democruptcy.

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