Almost four years after it bought the title, News Corp Australia has sold Alan Kohler’s Eureka Report to Australasian Wealth Investments (AWI).
The wealth newsletter and news website will now be owned by AWI, which is owned by financial analyst and TV former presenter Paul Clitheroe, who is known as the host of former Nine TV show, Money.
News Corp Australia bought both Business Spectator and the Eureka Report from Kohler and his partners for around $30m in 2012 and it is understood that management at the newspaper publisher have struggled to make the venture profitable over the years.
In a post on The Australian, The Eureka Report’s founder Alan Kohler notes that as part of the change Business Spectator will also be further integrated with the national broadsheet, writing: “(we have) no regrets: we did well out of the sale in 2012, AWI is a well-run, ethical company and Business Spectator has been an important part of The Australian’s success in the business media category over the past few years, as intended.”
However, Kohler also notes that the business model for many online publishers is increasingly challenged with a falling CPM and increasingly fragmenting audience.
“Journalism is far from dead, in fact people are reading more than ever, and a lot of that reading is still serious and long — not just kittens in drains,” writes Kohler.
“But a new business model needs to emerge from the dust, and at its heart, as with all businesses, the consumers of the product will have to somehow pay enough for the producers — in this case the journalists — to service a mortgage and raise a family.
“Otherwise the producers will have to do something else, and the product won’t exist.”
AWI said it would continue to operate Eureka Report as an independent brand with its own editorial team, while the brand’s superannuation brand Brightday has also been sold to Mark Bouris’ financial services firm Yellow Brick Road.
Business Spectator staff will remain with The Australian.