ACM to resume print publications in regional NSW, QLD & SA

Regional publisher Australian Community Media (ACM) is set to resume publishing a number of local newspapers from next week, a year after the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of printing.

ACM chief marketing officer Paul Tyrrell confirmed to Mumbrella that titles would resume printing. ACM ceased print operations at three of its press facilities last year, and suspended a number of non-daily newspapers. The media outlet said at the time the decision involves a number of redundancies. ACM would not disclose how many.

ACM has announced that it will also close a number of websites where advertising support has not recovered since print publishing had to be suspended.  This includes the Wingham Chronicle and the Bellingen Courier-Sun in NSW.

The Wingham Chronicle’s website has now been incorporated into the

A statement from ACM cited the Federal Government’s Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program for the resumption of printed editions of the long-standing local mastheads.

The the $50 million PING program was launched in May last year to support commercial television, radio and newspaper businesses in regional Australia during COVID-19.

Printed copies of The Armidale Express and Dungog Chronicle in NSW and the Goondiwindi Argus in Queensland will be back in circulation next week,  as a result of support under the PING program to maintain online local news coverage while their printed editions were suspended.

The South Australian newspapers Coastal Leader and Flinders News are also set to resume print editions.

ACM’s recent closure of the Bellingen Courier-Sun website followed ACM’s launch of a new publication, the Northern Rivers Review, which is distributed to more than 20 communities across northern NSW.

Regional media players Imparja Television, Prime Media Group and WIN told the senate committee on Monday that the PING funding had not come soon enough for regional media players or in some cases was not enough to slow the tide against the regional and remote media outfits.

Imparja Television CEO Alistair Feehan told the committee: “PING came too late for us. We’d already shut.”

Prime Media Group CEO Ian Audsley added: “The truth is that, even though most of Australia is back and spending, we are still behind where we were two years ago, and we still bear the increase in costs in operating our business, as Andrew pointed to, and in programming and running local newsrooms that are loss-making. At a point in time, all that comes to a head.”


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