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Liquidation one day, new publication launch the next

Sean Mitchell’s Action Media Ltd, publisher of NetGuide, IT Brief, Telecommunications Review and The Channel, was put into liquidation last week. So it was a bit of a surprise to receive a press release from the man himself trumpeting the arrival of a new publication about technology issues in small business.

The magazine will be called Start-Up and, given this recent liquidation news, it seems rather ironic to be launching a title about small business. But that’s not the only strange aspect of the announcement: an online business magazine called Start-UP already exists and is published by Media Everywhere.

The guff for the new publication goes:

We’re excited to announce the launch next month of a new technology magazine focused on small businesses throughout NZ . . . Official statistics show that 97% of enterprises employ 19 or fewer people , 89%  of enterprises employ five or fewer people, and that SMEs account for 31% of all employees . . . With that in mind, Action Media, publisher of NetGuide, The Channel, IT Brief, Telecommunications Review and Game Console, is launching Start-Up, a practical guide to technology for small businesses.

Whilst a number of publications are focused on small businesses, most are aspirational and none focuses on technology. Start-Up is an inexpensive, basic yet powerful guide to technology. “Think small town plumbing firms, rather than large-scale enterprises”, says publisher Sean Mitchell.

Each month, Start-Up will highlight the technology issues that small business operators need to know about. It will be packed with news, information and advice to help SMEs grow, drawing on the vast pool of knowledge that exists in New Zealand and internationally. Experts in the technology field will contribute their innovative ideas.

Despite news of the liquidation, Mitchell told the NBR it was “business as usual” and that no staff would lose their jobs. He has created two new companies, Action Media Brands and Action Media Operation, over the last two months and the publishing will continue under the Action Media Operation. The Action Media website said the websites, email newsletters and magazines will continue to be published on schedule, all existing subscriptions will continue and “there is absolute continuity of existing advertising pricing”.

Gerry Rea and Paul Sargison were appointed as liquidators, but Rea said it was too early to establish how much is owed.

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