Blogger Cameron Slater is to be the new editor of Truth.
The 125-year-old weekly newspaper is being restructured and will also get a website.
Mr Slater blogged on the Whale Oil blog and was convicted in 2010 of breaching a suppression order.
He says newspapers are a tired business model that no longer works and wants to change the approach to presenting news.
Mr Slater says he'll focus on producing hard investigative news and plans to update the paper's website into a 24-hour operation.
Former Truth chief reporter Jock Anderson says the blogger is a strong writer with an established record, and the newspaper needs someone feisty to rejuvenate it.
Associate professor at Canterbury University, Jim Tully, says the paper needs to do something bold and radical if it is to regain its reputation and readership.
"You could run some good stories, but whether that will swing people back to buy you is another matter," he says. "Maybe this is last chance saloon ... but I don't know if Truth will be around in five to 10 years.
Redmer Yska worked for Truth in the 1970s and says Mr Slater has a hard task, but he believes the paper could again be a force to be reckoned with.