AFR Pulls Plug On Newspapers In WA After Printing Costs Soar

AFR Pulls Plug On Newspapers In WA After Printing Costs Soar

Nine said it has been forced to stop distributing hard copies of its business masthead after the Seven West Media-owned printing press Colourpress terminated its contract, and would double the cost of printing. Colourpress is the only printing press in the golden state. 

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) will now be available to Western Australians as a digital-only news site, although distribution of its glossy magazines will continue.

Nine, which has distributed the Financial Review in WA since 1951, said the inflated cost of printing the newspapers had made the operation unviable.

“This decision is specific to Western Australia and has no impact on our papers and magazines in the rest of the country,” Nine’s managing director of publishing, Tory Maguire, said. 

“We work very constructively with the printers of our newspapers and magazines to ensure the long-term sustainability of our print products, which continue to be profitable. Fortunately the Financial Review is an incredibly successful digital publication, which has allowed us to make this decision in the best interests of our business.”  

The AFR’s editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury said Seven’s decision to heavily inflate the printing costs of a rival was an “uncompetitive abuse of market power”.

In a press statement, he added: “The Financial Review digital readership is disproportionally the biggest of any newspaper brand in Australia and we are confident we can serve all West Australians interested in our award-winning journalism.”

A Seven spokesperson told B&T the decision was purely commercial, adding: “The AFR’s suggestion that it is anything other than that is inaccurate and disingenuous.”

The Australian Financial Review’s final print edition in Western Australia is 21 May.




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