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Another twist for regional newspapers, offloaded by Nine in $125m deal

Genevieve Jacobs 30 April 2019
Photo: Jon S Flickr

Photo: Jon S Flickr

Long-standing newspapers in southern NSW and the ACT once part of the Fairfax stable have a new owner after being sold off in another twist stemming from last year’s Nine/Fairfax media merger.

Former Domain real estate boss Antony Catalano and Thorney Investments are part of a company that will pay $115m for the Australian Community Media and Printing group, which includes publications like the Bega District News, Bay Post, Eden MagnetThe Canberra Times, and The Land.

The group includes multiple regional mastheads and assets that Nine boss Hugh Marks described as “non-core businesses” which the company would dispose of in order to focus on “high growth digital assets”. The deal includes a further $10m in ACM advertising over the next three years.

Nine has announced cash proceeds from the sale are expected to be around $115m, of which $10m will be paid in 12 months and the sale is expected to be completed by 30 June of this year.

Commercial relationships will remain intact for the time being and content sharing arrangements between the ACM mastheads and the major metropolitan mastheads will continue, meaning newspapers like The Canberra Times will continue to derive a substantial part of its content from The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Financial Review.

The Audited Media Association of Australia reported in February this year that its December 2018 audit of circulation figures, saw circulation for most major print publications falling by around 10 percent for the 2018 calendar year.

The Canberra Times saw an 8.9 percent circulation slump in the 2018 calendar year, falling to 13,808. Weekend circulation suffered particularly sharp falls.

More to come.

Original Article published by Genevieve Jacobs on The RiotACT.

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