Woman's Weekly and Listener to resume publication after Bauer magazines sale

7:00 pm on 17 July 2020

Iconic New Zealand magazine titles NZ Woman's Weekly and the NZ Listener will resume publication immediately, with Bauer Media's titles officially sold to an Australian investment company.

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Photo: RNZ

The magazine titles have been officially taken over by Mercury Capital.

The Sydney-based company has taken ownership of magazine titles Woman's Day, New Zealand Woman's Weekly, and The Australian Women's Weekly NZ, Your Home & Garden, the NZ Listener and Air New Zealand's magazine Kia Ora.

Mercury Capital has sold North and South and Metro to independent publishers, which will resume publication "as soon as possible".

North & South is going to independent publishers Konstantin Richter and Verena Friederike Hasel, while Metro has been sold to Simon Chesterman.

In April, Bauer Media announced it was shutting its New Zealand operations at a loss of 237 jobs.

The future of the remaining titles, NEXT, Taste, Fashion Quarterly, HOME and Simply You are being assessed.

Mercury Capital said it would resume publishing immediately and about 40 local editorial and advertising jobs will be created.

Bauer ANZ chief executive Brendon Hill said: "I am delighted to see the return of some of New Zealand's most loved titles and thrilled that this allows us to bring back a talented group of editorial and advertising staff to resume the publishing of these brands.

"The return of our New Zealand operation is a green shoot during a challenging time and hopefully a sign of more positive news to come in the local media industry. We had always remained hopeful that we would be able to resume operations - the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and a more promising advertising market has allowed us to do that. As conditions improve, we hope to continue to expand our NZ operations.

"I'd like to thank our loyal readers, staff, clients and the broader industry for their support during this period."

Hill told Checkpoint there were a further five titles Bauer was looking to either bring back or sell.

A decision would be made in the "next few weeks", he said.

But Bauer had wanted to announce the good news and start getting things back up and running.

"We haven't spoken to anyone yet ... but there will be a lot of phone calls being made over the next few days and it will be all staff that have worked for us previously hopefully able to come back.

"It is substantially less than what we had previously [in terms of staff numbers] ... but it is sustainable and we are hoping we can grow it over the medium to long term and have more and more people back."

The Australian arm would provide support around backing finance, circulation and subscription management and other roles, he said.

He said the publications would be brought back as the were previously.

"They are iconic, they have been around for a very long time. We'll bring them back as they were previously."

Customers would have their subscriptions honoured and they would receive all the copies they had signed up for.

The business will continue to trade under the Bauer name in New Zealand and Australia while a rebrand is underway, with the new brand and strategy set to be announced in the coming months.

Subscribers that have missed issues of the titles that are resuming will have these added to their subscriptions. Delivery of magazines will resume in early September.

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