- the New Zealand arm of APN - owns several North Island daily papers
and radio stations, while Fairfax's media portfolio includes
newspapers, magazines, such as Cuisine, TV Guide and NZ
House & Garden, and the country's most-visited news website
completed, the combined company would own a host of New Zealand's
newspapers, including The New Zealand Herald, The Press the
Sunday Star-Times and the Dominion Post, as
well as the radio networks ZM, NewstalkZB, Radio Sport and Hauraцki.
two businesses have a combined workforce of more than 3000 people and
former NZ Herald editor Tim Murphy estimated a
merger could cost up to 750 jobs.
Murphy said the merger would inevitably mean there would be fewer
journalists, but future job cuts by the individual companies were
always going to happen.
said the merger could see a paywall erected on a combined news
website or membership schemes introduced for digital news, as the
worry about what their competitor was doing would evaporate.
said the merger may mean things may move faster.
groups have been cutting their journalistic staff because of the
perils of the print industry and that's been going on for years and
has been accelerating. And it would have had to keep happening again
and again, because nobody is able to get the golden egg of how to
make money from digital."
the merged company would still face stiff digital competition from
the likes of Facebook, Google, Snapchat and other social media
companies, he said.
commentator Gavin Ellis - another former NZ Herald editor
- said the only way forward for the newspaper business was
consolidation, which might keep the business running in the long
in the short term it would mean job cuts as the organisation's
newsrooms, advertising, and back office were merged into one national
Ellis could not see any reason why the Commerce Commission would not
approve the merger.
said they would look at the entire advertising market, where there
was plenty of competition.
will be double-ups all over the country'
senior Fairfax reporter said staff were worried about cuts this
know literally nothing about how it is going to work. There will be
double ups all over the country if we merge. We cut staff last year
and now there will be more.
are going to have months worrying about who gets what jobs."
reporter said: "We are not going to have as many reporters or
managers. We won't need as many people online or for the print sites.
People are worried."
third Fairfax journalist said the reality would be further job loses.
are not going to need two of everything - two political editors, two
sports editors, two editors-in-chief."
person said it was inevitable that good staff would look to leave as
the deal, if it went ahead, wouldn't be sealed until the end of the
Auckland staff member told RNZ News everyone was a little rattled.
next six months, you've just got to dig it in, who knows what will
said staff were not told if their jobs would be affected because the
merger was still being negotiated.
it could affect readers
consumer affairs spokesperson said a merger between Fairfax and APN
would be terrible for democracy in New Zealand, and for news
Shearer said a merger would have huge implications.
basically means we will have one newspaper nationwide, rather than
two, so you eliminate the competition. I think that is terrible, it
gives people less ability to hear different voices in the media."
Myllylahti, an expert in media ownership at AUT, told RNZ the merger
was potentially a seismic shift in media in New Zealand ,and would
affect readers as well as journalists.
said regional news could suffer.
afraid that if they don't have all the resources to provide local
news, all we'll have is clickbait, and more and more of that would be
said some kind of paywall was likely under a merged company.
they have a duopoly, they haven't been able to do that, because if
one was launched first, then other readers would escape to that free
site. But now if they merge, I would bet they would introduce digital