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Bauer Media closes publishing business in New Zealand

Bauer Media will close its New Zealand arm, ending decades of publishing, closing several titles and making its entire workforce redundant.

The publisher announced the news this morning, saying the “severe economic impact” of coronavirus (COVID-19) meant the business was no longer viable.

All staff were advised this morning.

EY has been appointed to facilitate the closure of the business.

Bauer’s ANZ CEO Brendon Hill described the decision as a “devastating blow”.

“This is a devastating blow for our committed and talented team who have worked tirelessly to inform and entertain New Zealanders, through some of the country’s best-loved and most-read magazines.”

Bauer Media NZ publishes entertainment, lifestyle and current affairs titles including the NZ Listener, Woman’s Day, New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, North and South and Next, along with a digital network.

The publishing business has already been suspended in the country as a result of New Zealand’s level four COVID-19 restrictions.

“We understand the New Zealand Government’s decision to move to COVID-19 Level 4, but it has put our business in an untenable position. Publishing in New Zealand is very dependent on advertising revenue and it is highly unlikely that demand will ever return to pre-crisis levels,” said Hill.

“An active search is underway to find buyers for our New Zealand assets, including our many iconic titles, however, so far an alternative owner has not been found.”

 

“I would like to recognise the impact that this decision will have on our suppliers, customers and the wider publishing industry. This is a very difficult time for the entire media industry,” said Hill.

The decision to close the business is effective from today.

Bauer is currently in the process of acquiring Pacific Magazines in Australia, although many reports have said the publisher is trying to reduce the amount it will pay Seven West Media for the business.

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