APN to close freesheets and cut frequency of historic daily papers

daily newsCoffs_Coast_AdvocateTwo of Australia’s oldest newspapers will no longer be published daily following a series of cost-cutting moves by regional publisher APN.

Tweed’s 123-year-old Daily News and the 104-year-old Coffs Coast Advocate will both move to reduced frequency, while free titles the Gold Coast Mail and Robina Mail will be closed in a move that will lead to 35 redundancies.  

In the latest set of Audit Bureau of Circulations figures, the Daily News was selling just 3,689 copies. The paper started life in 1888 as the Tweed and Brunswick Advocate. It became The Tweed Daily in 1914. At one point it was one of only two daily newspapers in Australia to have an offset printing press.

Instead the Daily News will sell a print edition only at the weekends with a cover price of 50 cents instead of the current $1.30. It will go on offering readers online updates via the mydailynews across the week.

APN is also to axe two of its southern Gold Coast freesheets. The 28,000 circulation Gold Coast Mail – which originated as the Gold Coast Hinterlander in 1977 – and 24,000 circulation Robina Mail – which only launched in April this year – will both close at the end of the year.

However, the free weekly Tweed Border Mail will continue to be distributed during the week to 30,000 households in the Tweed/ Coolangatta/ Murwillumbah region.

APN has also swung the axe in the Coffs Coast market with the 104-year-old daily Coffs Coast Advocate, which covers the NSW mid north coast, becoming a twice weekly freesheet, circulating on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On its paid for days it had been averaging 2,959 sales.

Ina statement, Warren Bright, CEO of APN Australian Regional Media said: “In each of these markets, although the audience for paid daily newspapers has been declining there remains very strong demand from both advertisers and the community for the twice weekly newspapers that we are retaining.

“We also have strong digital audiences in each market so it makes sense to combine a constantly updated digital news service with this modified print offering.”

APN said there were no further plans to make closures in its other markets.

November 22 update: APN’s former head of online Hugh Martin, who now runs data service Crown Content has predicted: “Taken in isolation, the future of APN’s Tweed and Coffs businesses is bleak. The next round of closure – my guess probably some time in the middle of next year – will be final.”


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