Bauer CEO Brendon Hill insists there are ‘absolutely’ plans to reinstate its eight suspended titles

There are ‘absolutely’ plans to reinstate the eight magazines which have been suspended since the merger between Bauer Media and Pacific Magazines according to CEO Brendon Hill. The hold on the titles is entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he insisted to staff last week, not the impacts of the merge.

Hill also said he had ‘no idea’ why the brands inside the publisher would change as they were ‘currently working wonderfully’. Since the merger took place a week ago almost 250 staff have been made redundant or stood down from the German-owned magazine business.

Hill says the eight titles that have been suspended will return to operations, ideally in time for on-sale September

Hill confirmed none of the staff who have been stood down will be eligible for payments under the government’s Job Keeper scheme. As Bauer is a global business, said Hill, it must provide proof of a 50% decline in turnover, which it cannot currently do.

Speaking to staff, Hill referred to Bauer and Pacific as ‘two great businesses’ which had ‘finally come together’ and would be a new, stronger, company. The publisher is still committed to its partnership with Seven, he said, and would be sharing content to ‘supercharge our digital strategies’ and collaborate with Seven brands and shows.

Hill said NW and OK, two weekly titles which were suspended very early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, were held due to largely relying on airport sales as part of bundles. That situation is being reviewed weekly, he said, and in the meantime, readers could turn to WHO.

Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Instyle, Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Good Health were all paused due to their reliance on an ad model that was hit hard, particularly in the luxury space. In July 2017 Bauer axed its entire Australian Good Health editorial team, leaving the title to be produced out of New Zealand. It has since closed its New Zealand offices.

Hill said all eight titles would be returned as soon as possible, with an aim to hit on-sale September timings. The business is currently ‘refining’ team structures and would share announcements relevant to that in the coming weeks.

Shane Sutton has been confirmed as group publisher of Homes, Fiona Connolly as group publisher weeklies, Susie Loxton will lead the luxury arm of the business and Nicola Byers’ role has been expanded to include the Australian Women’s Weekly, Country Style and Better Homes and Gardens.

Digitally the leadership team remains the same, led by Fiona Baker, Lorna Gray, Amber Manto. Operations are being led by Dean Burge, Neil Donnelly, Tessa Rex and Annabel Hodges.


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