Restructures among the big publishers have been fairly common in recent times and, following Bauer’s purchase of the NZ Magazines portfolio, APN has embarked on another one, with its Pacific Magazines titles New Idea, Girlfriend and That’s Life now trading alongside the New Zealand Herald’s Newspaper Inserted Magazine (NIMs) portfolio.
Karen Prendergast, formerly trading manager with NZ Magazines and more recently NZ Herald sales director, classifieds, has been appointed commercial director of the Pacific titles and will report to the APN group sales director, David Hoath.
NZ Magazines general manager, Chris Gwin, who took over when Sarah Sandley departed, is assisting with the transition to Bauer but will leave APN on 28 March and is seeking new opportunities.
Michelle Coursey will edit New Idea, with Rebecca Blithe responsible for Girlfriend and Eva Lewicki for That’s life. The commercial team will include Paula Blind, group sales manager NIMs and magazines, with Claire Chisholm (New Idea) and Jodie Gladstone (Girlfriend) as product sales managers. Blind and her team will report through to Daniel Dalton, sales director sections and direct.
APN’s deal to publish these titles under license to Pacific magazines has roughly 18 months to run, with provision for extension. And, when asked if APN would continue to publish the titles when that time came, APN NZ chief executive Martin Simons said “both companies will decide in due course”.
Looking at APN’s recent decisions to sell its outdoor and magazine assets and upgrade its investment in radio with its outright purchase of TRN and ARN from Clear Channel, it seems unlikely to be extended. So it will be interesting to see what Pacific Magazines decides to do if that’s the case.
The New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, The Listener, Creme, Simply You and Simply You Living officially moved to Bauer on March 1 and, when the sale was given the go ahead by the Commerce Commission, chief executive Paul Dykzeul said a majority of staff chosen to work on those titles had come from Bauer. He said the Bauer team would grow by about 45 as a result of the additional magazines and it’s thought there were around 90 staff at NZ Magazines before the sale (we’ve asked APN how many NZ Magazines staff remain under this new structure, and we’ll update the story when we hear back).
Simons said it was a “testing time for staff” due to the Commerce Commission approval process and lengthy staff selection process and he paid tribute to all those who had worked on the company’s magazine titles.
“The quality of the magazines and the dedication of our people never wavered during this period,” he says. “I would like to acknowledge the work of all teams and particularly the contribution of editors Louise Wright (NZ Woman’s Weekly) and Pamela Stirling (The Listener) for their leadership at this time. Both editors are at the top of their game, producing superb weekly magazines.”