ACM Considers Selling Three Largest Newspapers

ACM Considers Selling Three Largest Newspapers
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

ACM owner Anthony Catalano has been sounding out suitors, including Nine, for the Newcastle Herald, Canberra Times and Illawarra Mercury.

Three of Australia’s largest regional mastheads could be up for sale, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review.

Australian Community Media (ACM) part-owner Anthony Catalano has reportedly held talks with interested suitors about acquiring the mastheads, including Nine.

Nine told B&T that it does not comment on speculation. 

Catalano told the AFR that he wasn’t actively looking to sell the titles but that they had received enquiries from interested parties.

“The strong standing our titles continue to enjoy in Australia’s regional cities make them very attractive media assets,” Catalano told the AFR.

The Canberra Times has a weekly readership north of 92,000 and is the largest newspaper in Australia’s capital city. The Newcastle Herald (87,000) and Illawarra Mercury (43,500) are also the dominant newsbrands in their respective cities.

Nine inherited ACM – Fairfax Media’s regional newspaper arm – in a $4bn merger with Fairfax in 2018.

A year later Catalano and Thorney Investment Group CEO Alex Waislitz bought ACM for $125 million from Nine and has since consolidated or closed most of its mastheads. It now has 16 daily and 55 non-daily news brands, as well as a handful of specialty titles, including the real estate portal and agriculture publications.

ACM declined to comment.

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