NZME confirmed through a release sent out today that it will not be renewing its licence with Pacific Magazines to produce New Idea, Girlfriend and That's Life.
The existing deal runs until 30 September 2015, and NZME chief operating officer Phil Eustace says that NZME will cease publishing the three magazine titles from that date.
“The rights to publish will revert back to Pacific Magazines from 30 September 2015," Eustace was quoted saying in the release. "Pacific Magazines have indicated that the magazines will continue to be published in New Zealand.”
Each of these three publications have in recent surveys suffered significant year-on-year losses in terms of readership and circulation. Nielsen's data released in June showed New Idea slipping from 384,000 readers to 326,000, That's Life from 230,000 to 205,000 and Girlfriend from 130,000 to 108,000.
The downward trend was also evident in ABC's data, which showed New Idea drop from 33,000 to 32,000, That's Life from 26,000 to 25,000 and Girlfriend from 8,156 to 6,616 magazines in circulation.
NZME currently employs 25 people across sales, marketing and editorial through its magazine department, but at this stage it's still unclear how many job cuts the change will involve given the conslutation process is still ongoing. StopPress contacted NZME in regard to the likely number of staff cuts, but Eustace explained that it still to early to say*.
"At this point all that has happened is that the 25 people have just been told the license won't be renewed. NZME is looking at [staff] redeployment opportunities both within NZME and at Pacific Magazines."
Eustace confirmed that reader subscriptions and advertising bookings would be honoured by Pacific Magazines.
*This section has been updated to include a response from NZME.