WA Community News Group to shut five titles

Western Australia’s Community News Group will shut the Midland Kalamunda Reporter, Comment News, Hills Avon Valley Gazette, The Advocate and the North Coast Times citing ongoing commercial and competitive pressures in the Australian media landscape.

The Western Australian titles, which are owned by News Corp Australia and Seven West Media owned WA Newspapers, will finish deliveries on the week of September 3, with a spokesperson telling Mumbrella the print editions were ‘not sustainable’. At this stage, while consultation and re-deployment processes are underway, it is unclear how many roles are affected.

Five titles in Western Australia have been axed

The North Coast Times will continue to receive local news coverage from the Weekender while other suburbs are expected to receive local content on the website and through social media. A spokesperson for Community News told Mumbrella commercial performance and competitive pressures had eventuated in the closures.

“Community News will continue to invest in mastheads that have strong audience engagement, along with strong advertising market share across categories,” a spokesperson for Community News told Mumbrella.

“Community News has been undertaking a rejuvenation of its products including improvements in layout, fonts and structure to improve the reader and advertising experience. This innovation in our products will continue.

“Likewise, as we continue to pursue our growth agenda for our remaining mastheads, the distribution and audience engagement channels will be reviewed regularly. This will ensure that our continuing mastheads have an engaged audience and robust advertising revenue which will enable CNG to deliver a sustainable business model.”

Some mastheads will expand their footprint into new suburbs, in order to accomodate for the closed mastheads.

“It is our intention to continue servicing the affected communities with a digital offering, including localised news on the website and a masthead-specific landing page on the website,” the spokesperson added. “We will also continue publishing content to our engaged social media audience in these areas which also includes sending e-newsletters.

“As a result of these changes, some staff at Community News will be impacted. Community News is committed to ensuring staff have all the information they need to make an informed decision and are treated with dignity and respect throughout the process.”

Late last week, Community News boss Paul Eteen-Bliss assured readers ‘grassroots community media’ would continue to survive.

“The company retains its position as the market leader in the delivery of local newspapers and digital news and will continue to cover the majority of the Perth and Mandurah regions via 12 masthead titles,” he said.


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