Merger could help NZ media take on Apple and Google

A leading media commentator says a joint media company comprising NZME and Fairfax would be better equipped to take on internet giants such as Google and Facebook.

APN News and Media and Fairfax Media are in negotiations to fold their New Zealand operations into a major listed company.

It would bring together major newspapers like the New Zealand Herald and DomPost as well as websites Stuff and, along with radio stations, including Newstalk ZB, around the country.

Tim Murphy, a long standing former Herald editor-in-chief, said New Zealand media was trying to operate in an industry dominated by overseas players with limitless resources.

"There's two big print and digital based news organisations and there's probably not enough room for two of those plus two television free to air networks plus other digital start ups," he told ONE News.

Google and their like were hoovering up advertising dollars and media here needed to offer audiences something different.

"The fact that click bait dominates both news sites, there's kind of a sameness about it already so it may well be that pulling the resources they can produce slightly different approaches on the news."


In a tweet, Mr Murphy suggested up to 750 jobs could go nationwide if NZME and Fairfax merge, with a cut in overall workforce from 3000 to 2250.

He said staff numbers could not be halved by the merger.

"Fairfax NZ/NZME largely operate in geographically distinct zones - big staffs in Auckland do overlap and in digital news, verticals, sales," Mr Murphy wrote on Twitter.

The Journalists Union says it fears a merger would cost jobs and stifle debate.

"This means the content of diverse major news publications will be pared back to just one key generator of comment," E tu's national media organiser Paul Tolich says.

"This would seriously affect the future of newsgathering by journalists because these assets are key sources of hard news."


Tim Murphy says by coming together, NZME and Fairfax will be in a stronger position to take on Google and Facebook. Source: 1 NEWS

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