Listener, Woman's Weekly and other magazine titles to return

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Jul 2020, 1:37PM
Photo / File
Photo / File

Listener, Woman's Weekly and other magazine titles to return

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Jul 2020, 1:37PM

Private equity company Mercury Capital - the new owner of Bauer New Zealand's magazine titles - said its flagship publications would resume immediately.

The New Zealand portfolio will consist of flagship titles Woman's Day, New Zealand Woman's Weekly, and The Australian Women's Weekly NZ, along with home category leader Your Home & Garden, current affairs weekly NZ Listener and Air New Zealand's award-winning magazine Kia Ora.

The portfolio will also include websites Now to Love, Homes to Love and Beauty Heaven. Property Press, which resumed publishing shortly after Covid-19 Level 4 restrictions were lifted, will also be part of the new portfolio.

In addition, a selection of Australian titles are being distributed into the New Zealand market.

Brendon Hill, Bauer ANZ CEO, said he was "delighted' to see the return of some of New Zealand's best known titles.

"The return of our New Zealand operation is a green shoot during a challenging time and hopefully a sign of more positive news to come in the local media industry," he said in a statement.

"We had always remained hopeful that we would be able to resume operations - the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and a more promising advertising market has allowed us to do that.

"As conditions improve, we hope to continue to expand our NZ operations," he said.

The New Zealand business will be headed up by Stuart Dick as general manager and Sarah Henry as editorial director.

They who will be joined by a team of around 40 local editorial and advertising personnel.

Operational support will be based in the Australian offices.

Mercury Capital said it had sold additional titles to a variety of publishers.

North & South is going to independent publishers Konstantin Richter and Verena Friederike and Metro to Simon Chesterman.

Both magazines will resume publication as soon as possible.

The future of the remaining titles, NEXT, Taste, Fashion Quarterly, HOME and Simply You are currently being assessed including a sale to interested parties, he said.

Hill said that subscribers that have missed issues of the titles that are resuming will have these added to their subscriptions.

Delivery of magazines will resume in early September.

The business will continue to trade under the Bauer name in New Zealand and Australia while a rebrand is underway, with the new brand and strategy set to be announced in the coming months.

Bauer's magazine business was sold to Mercury in June.

Mercury is headed by Kiwi-born Clark Perkins, a former Goldman Sachs deal maker, and includes high-profile New Zealand directors such as Sky TV founder Craig Heatley, Tom Sturgess and Geoff Ricketts.

The future of New Zealand's magazine industry was left in serious doubt in April when German company Bauer announced the closure of its magazine business in New Zealand.

The move affected the jobs of around 230 local journalists, editors, designers and salespeople working on the magazines.

When the closure of Bauer was announced, Mercury quickly emerged as the front-runner for the business in this market.

Mercury has made about a dozen investments in Australia and New Zealand including printing company Blue Star, which runs Webstar NZ, previously one of Bauer's bigger clients.