Fairfax Media restructure sees Fairfax New Zealand chief executive Allen Williams heading to Australia to become managing director of the newly formed Australian Publishing Media division. But aside from a change at the top, the changes won’t be affecting the New Zealand business.
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While the magazine sector recorded its third consecutive overall readership increase in the latest Nielsen CMI figures, the newspapers haven’t fared quite so well, with an overall decline in total readership for all dailies and metropolitan titles that has been deemed significant by Nielsen and almost universal declines in paid circulation. But there are a couple of diamonds in the rough—particularly The Herald on Sunday and The Waikato Times—and, for the optimists, the numbers are still holding up much better than they are in comparison to many other markets.
The magazine sector was celebrating a mostly positive swing after the latest readership, circ and, importantly, engagement figures were released last week. And while the numbers aren’t quite as good for the newspaper sector, the sky is still not falling.
News of three senior defections at Fairfax in Australia surfaced yesterday, following on from last week’s news that it planned to cut 1,900 jobs—or around 20 percent of its staff—as part of a restructure aimed at facing up to the challenges of digital publishing. News Ltd is also set to cull staff, although it has said the number is “significantly less” than Fairfax (its own press appears to be looking on the bright side of that decision). And while New Zealand’s newspaper biz is still doing it tough at the moment, Fairfax NZ chief executive Allen Williams told the NBR it was a “case of two different markets, in two different timeframes”, so going tabloid and putting up paywalls wasn’t on the agenda–yet. Add in the Leveson enquiry in the UK and it’s tough out there in media land, so it was interesting to see the results of the 5th annual Oriella Digital Journalism Study, which showed the world’s media were cautiously upbeat despite continued uncertainty in the global economy and “digital technologies have affected the practice of journalism less markedly in New Zealand” than elsewhere.
The magazine sector had some pretty good news to report in the latest round of readership and circulation figures and, given what’s happening internationally, the New Zealand newspaper sector should also be fairly pleased with the results, which show there’s still plenty of life in the old dogs yet.
The latest numbers for newspapers have just been released and, according to Nielsen, readership levels for all dailies via print decreased ‘significantly’, as they did for the country’s biggest newspaper, The New Zealand Herald. But there were plenty of positives, with some readership increases, circulation remaining fairly static for most papers and massive rises in the online and mobile realms taking up some of print’s slack.
Much like the domestic magazine sector, newspaper readership remained relatively stable in the latest Nielsen reports and the overall trend for circulation continued downwards. And while the online and mobile properties of the two big publishers are continuing to lure Kiwi eyeballs, recent financial results show the digital dimes still aren’t replacing the lost analog dollars.
…as Jim Tully and Peter Bush take their place among New Zealand’s media greats; Freeman’s Bay indie Republik opens an Australian office; the Saatchi & Saatchi regional HQ shifts to Singapore from Sydney as Chris Foster takes on a big new Asia Pacific role; Fairfax looks for some creative, integrated inspiration in its new Auckland offices; and Method Studios is acknowledged for its digital work at the New York Communicator awards.
A galaxy of industry stars gathered at Sky City on Friday night as the country’s most important and highly sought after print media accolades were dished out at the Canon Media Awards. And there were a few sore heads among the APNers on Saturday morning after they walked out with what they’re calling the ‘Grand Slam’: best website, newspaper of the year, best daily newspaper and best weekly paper.
Fairfax Media has announced it will be making some sizable changes to its organisational structure in an effort to adapt and prosper in a world where convergent, digital and multi-platform media rules the day. But the New Zealand media operations, it seems, won’t really be affected.