Australian Regional Media

APN News & Media are to sell off Australian Regional Media, owners of print titles in regional NSW and Queensland. (via Sunshine Coast Daily)

I wonder whether either Fairfax or News Corp will buy the APN regional newspapers? Both said companies already have a sizeable presence in regional print and I would be very surprised if it’s neither Fairfax or News Corp who purchases these assets.

APN has sold its Australian regional paper business to News Corp for $36.6 million: Fairfax
If the deal is approved, News Corp will own virtually every newspaper along the Queensland coast from Cairns to the NSW border.

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…plus it will pick up a few regional papers in Northern NSW as well. Considering that News Corp currently doesn’t own any regional papers in NSW (as far as I’m aware anyway), it’s somewhat noteworthy.

It was an inevitability with the 15% share News already had.

Unfortunately it means a consolidation of ownership. The trend continues.

What will be good to see is a change of editorial leadership within the APN titles. There are many instances of Windsor/Oakeshott style editors who do not fit the history, culture or voting values of their region.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has expressed concern News Corp’s proposed acquisition of Australian Regional Media may substantially lessen competition in the supply of news in areas where the two companies have overlapping newspapers. ACCC chairman Rod Sims said:

One area of focus is the loss of competition between ARM’s paid regional newspapers and News’ The Courier Mail. If the proposed acquisition proceeds, News will own both The Courier Mail and the local paid newspaper in nearly every city or town in Queensland. This may result in a reduction of quality and diversity of content available to readers. Reinforcing that concern is that both News and ARM have a strong presence in online news through their websites associated with the Queensland newspapers.

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Most of the state and national news in the ARM newspapers would be sourced from AAP which is 45% owned by News Corp, and I’m thinking that would still be the case under News ownership??

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