King Media launches newspaper to fill the gap in NSW’s Southern Highlands

In response to various regional media outlets closing or pausing production, King Media has launched a new title in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands – the Southern Highlands Express.

Australian Community Media’s (ACM) Southern Highlands News was one of a number of titles ‘paused’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The weekly title will be available in newsagents for $2. King Media’s Cristian King said the success of the new publication hinged on readers’ demands for local news, not syndicated content.

“Regional titles should be run as individual small businesses without the governance of a large enterprise. Readers are not engaged by syndicated content as they want their local news,” said King.

King Media publishes several monthly free titles including Latté Life Wingecarribee and Latté Life Goulburn, established in 2014. King said the business will continue to focus on local business advertising to fund its publications.

“Advertisers are waking up to that fact that if they want a local paper, they need to support it.”

King also said he wasn’t convinced ACM would be reopening its titles at the end of the COVID-19 lockdowns, leaving a gap in the market.

“We’ll see what happens with ACM when they review print publications at the end of June. I doubt many of those regional non-daily titles will come back into circulation,” he said.

King Media is currently reviewing other launch options in regional locations and will be reaching out to ACM and News Corp Australia staffers who have been cut as a result of the suspensions and closures.

King had claimed to want to buy the assets which now form part of ACM before Antony Catalano successfully bought them from Nine. King said he would have paid around $92m, below that of Catalano and Thorney Investment’s $115m. Catalano said he was unaware King was involved in the bidding process.


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