The future of the Australian Associated Press (AAP) newswire has been secured after a deal was struck by a consortium of media players and philanthropists to buy the 85-year-old news service overnight.
The consortium was led by Nick Harrington and included philanthropist John McKinnon and former Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh who said they were driven by a desire to retain Australian media diversity.
A deal was struck last night with with current shareholders that included Nine and News Corp and is expected to be settled by July 31.
Other parts of the AAP Group will be retained by the current shareholders. This includes Medianet, Mediaverse, AAP Directories, Pagemasters and Racing operations.
The buyers said in a statement of its motivation to purchase the business that it had “a desire to protect media diversity in Australia through ensuring the long-term sustainability of the AAP newswire and its provision of independent, quality journalism on issues that should matter to all Australians”.
It has said its services will continue pretty much as per usual but the consortium had previoulsy said in a slimmed down version that would result in some job losses. Although exact numbers and from where have not been detailed.
The new-look AAP will be run by CEO Emma Cowdroy (main photo) and editor Andrew Drummond and will continue to produce content including breaking and world news, sport, court and political reporting, plus photography, while its and FactCheck service would remain.
Cowdroy commented on the sale: “Fast, factual reporting, objective news and geographical reach to all corners of Australia, is our DNA.”
Outgoing AAP chairman Campbell Reid, on behalf of the board, paid tribute to the professionalism of staff over some trying times in recent months.
“You have all stayed true to the spirit that the news is published no matter what, and this stands the newswire in great stead as it begins its next chapter. The board wishes the new team every success,” Reid said.
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