Since taking over as the chief executive of APN New Zealand in May, Jane Hastings has been pulling together the discrete threads that make up the conglomerate in an effort to create a seamless entity that can be used to deliver commercial partners’ messages across all the available media properties.
This restructuring process culminated earlier this month with the arrival of a slew of new senior hires charged with the responsibility of driving collaboration efforts across the group, which includes APN NZ, TRN and GrabOne.
But all new things require a name, and for this reason APN sent out a release this morning saying that its print, radio, digital and e-commerce brands will from now on be unified under the moniker NZME (pronounced ‘en zed me’), which stands for New Zealand Media and Entertainment.
Commenting on the name that provides a lesson in the difference between an initialism and an acronym, Hastings said “the ‘me’ in NZME perfectly reflects that NZME’s brands and people are always at the centre of what’s going on.”
Hastings made the point that the name change would not affect the visual identities or names of any of NZME’s major brands.
“While APN NZ and The Radio Network will become NZME, our much loved brands don’t change,” Hastings said in a release. “For example GrabOne is still GrabOne, NewstalkZB is still NewstalkZB and The New Zealand Herald is still The New Zealand Herald. Only where you had previously seen ‘APN NZ’ or ‘TRN’ will you now see NZME. This will bring all of our platforms together to clearly establish us as the preferred news, sport and entertainment destination for New Zealanders.”
With major brands such as the NZ Herald, Newstalk ZB and ZM in its portfolio, the conglomerate has considerable levels of engagement across nation, and this was again reiterated in the release.
According to the statistics provided, 91 percent of large business owners and 87 percent of SME business owners engage with NZME’s various platforms. Furthermore, by 9am, 66 percent of Auckland has read, heard, seen or engaged with an NZME brand, and each month the media company’s news brands reach 2.2 million Kiwis, while its sport and entertainment brands reach 1.1 million and 2.7 million Kiwis respectively.
“Our combined assets have exceptional reach in the New Zealand market with 2.9 million people connecting with our brands every week,” added Hastings. “As NZME, we will be able to leverage that advantage to more effectively connect advertisers with audiences across the country.”
StopPress asked NZME whether these structural changes have thus far resulted in ad revenue growth for the company, but we have not yet received a reply.
Earlier this week, NZME also announced changes to the print version of the Herald, which will take effect from 29 September.
According to a release, the facelift will include “a bold redesign, new columnists and news content, a new emphasis on our business journalism, and more sport.”
Herald editor Shayne Currie says the changes follow on from extensive reader research, and he believes they will make the paper more attractive to advertisers.
“We stay in touch with what our readers need and evolve as they do," said Currie in a release. "They and our advertisers can expect a bolder, brighter paper, with journalism that’s even more engaging, relevant and important. In news the emphasis will be on unique content: exclusive investigations and campaigns, and more data journalism that complements our digital platforms. We have also refreshed our reporters’ rounds and the topics and issues they cover. And you’ll find the very best columnists – we’ve added Lucy Lawless, Mike Hosking and Alan Duff in the past few months, and there’s more big names to come.”
According to the release, the updates will see the business section change in the sense that there will be more specialist content, with Tamsyn Parker on personal finance, Juha Saarinen on technology and Jock Anderson on law.
The release also said that the sports section would become larger, and that there would be increased focus on college sports.
In addition to all these changes, the TimeOut pullout will also be relaunched on 2 October.