Bauer Media Group today announced its intention to close its publishing business in New Zealand due to the severe economic impact of Covid-19. The closure brings to an end many decades of publishing in New Zealand and affects all staff.
Bauer Media NZ publishes entertainment, lifestyle and current affairs titles including the NZ Listener, Woman’s Day, New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, North and South and Next, along with a digital network.
All New Zealand Bauer staff have been advised this morning that the business is no longer viable and that it intends to close the business effective as of April 2, 2020.
EY has been appointed to work alongside Bauer New Zealand to facilitate an orderly wind-down of the business.
Brendon Hill (main photo), ANZ CEO said: “This is a devastating blow for our committed and talented team who have worked tirelessly to inform and entertain New Zealanders, through some of the country’s best-loved and most-read magazines.”
Magazine publishing in New Zealand is currently suspended as part of the New Zealand Government’s decision to move to the Covid-19 Level 4 restrictions. Hill said: “We understand the New Zealand Government’s decision to move to Covid-19 Level 4, but it has put our business in an untenable position. Publishing in New Zealand is very dependent on advertising revenue and it is highly unlikely that demand will ever return to pre-crisis levels.”
In response to the situation, Bauer carried out an urgent review of its New Zealand operations and considered all options to keep part or all the business open, including engaging with the New Zealand Government. Hill said: “An active search is underway to find buyers for our New Zealand assets, including our many iconic titles, however, so far an alternative owner has not been found.”
Bauer Media Group has confirmed its intent to close the New Zealand business to its staff and that funding will be provided to enable all staff to be paid their full redundancy and leave entitlements.
Hill concluded: “I would like to recognise the impact that this decision will have on our suppliers, customers and the wider publishing industry. This is a very difficult time for the entire media industry.”
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