Browsing: Sinead Boucher
Sinead Boucher’s career on the Fairfax digital team started in what she describes as a “broom cupboard” at a time when the site was seen as a nice-to-have tag-on to the print business. Now, as she sits in the chief executive chair at Stuff, she reflects on how much things have changed.
A few months back we asked Fairfax if rumours that its magazine portfolio was on the block were true. Given the company had just put its magazine content under the Stuff umbrella, it seemed like a surprising move. But while Fairfax said no at the time, an email to staff today from group executive editor Sinead Boucher has confirmed six of its “smaller niche” titles—including reigning magazine of the year NZ Life & Leisure—have been sold as it continues to focus on its “core audiences and verticals”.
Facebook appears to be steadily eating the internet and, in August this year, it took over from Google as the biggest driver of web traffic to news sites. It’s a bit of a love/hate relationship, however, with many publishers relying on the network for traffic, ad revenue and validation/stimulation, but also fearing that they are vulnerable to a tweak of the algorithm or demands for more money to reach its audience. Earlier this year, Facebook announced the arrival of Instant Articles, which let selected media brands publish content directly to Facebook and display it in newsfeeds without requiring users to leave. And, as part of a regional deal with Fairfax, stuff.co.nz will be the first local brand that gets to play with it in New Zealand.
Fairfax yesterday announced that it would be restructuring its business to align it more closely with a “modern newsroom,” which is digital-centric and focused on audiences and content rather than traditional mastheads. This immediately led to interest from all major media outlets and speculation as to how many job cuts the changes could result in.
Last month, Fairfax announced some more changes to the structure of its newsroom, with a big focus on becoming a digital first media company. And Nielsen numbers show its hub stuff.co.nz continues to move up the top ten most popular site rankings while the majority have gone down year on year. But is this digital growth translating to dollars?
Sinead Boucher, the group executive editor of Fairfax, has confirmed that the last digital edition of Unlimited magazine will be released in December this year.
Recently, StopPress ran a story in which Fairfax’s group executive editor Sinead Boucher said Stuff was working on a strategy to overtake Yahoo in terms of online visitor numbers. And this has now come to fruition with Nielsen’s statistics for October showing that the Fairfax-owned media property received more unique visitors over the course of the month than Yahoo.
Back in October last year, stuff.co.nz knocked nzherald.co.nz off the top spot in Auckland for the first time. Fairfax saw it as a big win, but NZ Herald editor Tim Murphy tweeted that a response to our story saying it was merely a blip after it climbed back on top soon after. Now, Nielsen online ratings for January show volatility in APN’s numbers since then and a steady rise for Fairfax, which has once again claimed the top spot by the smallest of margins.
Fairfax Media is celebrating a victory over its main rival APN after Nielsen numbers showed more Aucklanders are reading stuff.co.nz than any other site, with its unique audience for September in Auckland clocking in at 391,000 compared to the nzherald.co.nz’s 360,000.
Boucher takes the editorial wheel at Fairfax, APN’s Johns on the hunt for partnerships, veteran Mike Yardley jets into the editor’s chair at For the love of travel website, Kristina Rapley is the Creme of the crop, Hotwire gets its first board members, market research outfits join forces, and Simon Sievert is DraftFCB’s new digital architect.
The shift to digital has disrupted many industries, but news media has been one of the most badly affected. So what are the options? And are any local publishers making money online? Sim Ahmed investigates.
The New York Times recently won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for its brilliant interactive journey through an avalanche, Snow Fall. It’s continued down that path with another interactive—and gutwrenching—story about Jeff Bauman, the man who had both his legs blown off after the Boston bombings. But Fairfax can play the long-format game too.
Not surprisingly, the relaunch of the New Zealand Herald as a tabloid and the redesign of the nzherald.co.nz website have dominated most of the attention in the newspaper sphere in recent weeks. But Fairfax has a few tricks up its sleeve as well and it has announced the launch of Stuff Nation, a repository for user-generated content and a more personalised news experience that promises to “transform the landscape of New Zealand journalism”—and the way Fairfax Digital delivers media packages in New Zealand.