It seems that Irish millionaire Tony O’Reilly won’t be solving his debt problems any time soon.
O’Reilly is desperate to be shod of his major shareholding in APN “which publishes the New Zealand Herald and is the largest radio and outdoor advertising operator in Australasia”. (No conflicts of interest in APN’s rabid anti-EFA campaigning there I’m sure.)
But nobody wants to buy.
It’s no secret that msm profitability has plummeted in recent years – what used to be a consistent double figures profit industry is now in deep shit and it’s far from clear where it’ll all end up. It seems that more than a decade of cost and corner-cutting just hasn’t been enough to counteract the effects of the internet and genuine competition for news audiences.
Of course those years of cost and corner cutting have also meant publishers like the Herald are no longer capable of producing material people might choose to pay for. Intelligent well informed journalists, ones that stand up to their editors in the interests of accuracy and integrity, just don’t fit APN’s accounting models even if they did want to write for the Herald.
In trying to maintain high profitability the Herald’s owners have cut away so much muscle that it just can’t compete with new media. And frankly now there are so many other sources to compare angles and facts with, it’s become too obvious to a critical mass of readers that the Herald is anything but an authoritative journal of record.
But don’t take my word for it, just ask the market.