AAP finalises sale to save newswire

The 85-year-old AAP newswire has been saved from closure following the inking of a sale to its new owners, a consortium led by Nick Harrington and supported by former News Corp executive Peter Tonagh.

The deal was finalised yesterday between the consortium of philanthropists and investors and Australian Associated Press shareholders including Nine and News Corp.

The AAP newswire has been saved

The group said its plan was to continue the fight for media diversity in Australia with a longterm, sustainable, independent newswire.

“A desire to protect media diversity in Australia through ensuring the long-term sustainability of the AAP newswire and its provision of independent, quality journalism on issues that should matter to all Australians,” the group said in a statement.

AAP editor in chief Tony Gillies has announced he will be stepping away from the organisation at the beginning of July. The newswire will now be directed by new CEO Emma Cowdroy, formerly AAP’s legal counsel, and editor Andrew Drummond.

The newswire will continue producing content spanning breaking and world news, sport, court and political, plus photography and a Fact Check service.

When it was established that the consortium would be making a play for the business, Tonagh warned there would still be job losses associated with the sale. Those changes are expected to be finalised ahead of settlement on July 31.

Cowdroy celebrated the sale and its importance in the media landscape.

“This is not only great news, but it’s vital for our democracy, as public-interest journalism is more important than ever,” she said.

“Fast, factual reporting, objective news and geographical reach to all corners of Australia, is our DNA.”

Other parts of the AAP Group will be retained by the current shareholders. This includes Medianet, Mediaverse, AAP Directories, Pagemasters and Racing operations.

Outgoing AAP chairman Campbell Reid paid tribute to the professionalism of staff over recent months on behalf of the board.

“You have all stayed true to the spirit that the news is published no matter what, and this stands the newswire in great stead as it begins its next chapter. The board wishes the new team every success,” he said.


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