- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Rotating door at stable

Household magazine names like 'Metro' and 'North & South' are going to be owned by foreigners... again.
One of New Zealand's largest magazine publishers, ACP Media, will be sold to Germany's Bauer Media Group in a deal reportedly worth A$500m (NZ$643.6m). ACP publishes titles such as Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly, Next, Metro and North & South in its New Zealand stable, with more in Australia.
ACP is currently owned by Nine Entertainment in Australia, which is in turn owned by CVC Asia Pacific Limited.
The Bauer group, founded in 1875 and based in Hamburg, is run by 35-year-old heiress Yvonne Bauer and reports about Euro 2 billion in annual sales.

These are well established titles, with well established staff, market position and revenue lines - the editorial content is also similarly predictable and (especially with Metro) formulaic. The use of the word stable can be used in either sense.

So what is happening here?  Different groups of foreigners clipping the ticket. That's the same with much of NZ media (TV3, APN and Fairfax being the biggest). What extra capital and other resources can they bring to add value to the local media scene? Not any - most of them are indebted up to their executives' hair replacements. There's no cultural or professional value to be added either.  It's all about driving costs down and increasing profits that will flow overseas.

The only positive thing to say with this situation is that there doesn't seem to be much editorial influence from the overseas owners over what can and can't be said and what political lines are followed. I think they are by and large locally determined and are editorially independent. But it is disheartening to know that the iconic magazines and newspapers of New Zealand are not owned by locals and that the surplus will be repatriated to Aussie, Germany or wherever.


Post a Comment

<< Home