APN titles re-invented for digital age
APN Australian Regional Media is redefining its business model in two markets to recognise the growing importance of digital news and information, and shifting consumer needs.
The changes, in the Tweed-Gold Coast and Coffs Coast markets, will create "digital first" daily news services supported by twice-weekly print mastheads.
This will give readers constant access to breaking local news and free, or low cost, print products tailored to the local market.
In the Tweed-Gold Coast, the Daily News will publish a print edition only on the weekend and the cover price will be reduced from $1.30 to 50 cents.
The changes mean the Daily News will no longer publish a print edition Monday to Friday but will continue to produce an ongoing digital news service on the mydailynews.com.au website and mobile platform.
The free weekly Tweed Border Mail will continue to be distributed during the week to over 30,000 households in the Tweed/Coolangatta/Murwillumbah region. The Gold Coast Mail and Robina Mail in the southern Gold Coast will close at the end of 2011.
On the Coffs Coast (Mid North Coast, New South Wales), the Coffs Coast Advocate, which is currently distributed free two days a week to over 31,000 households and carries a cover price on four days, will retain its high circulation free distribution days as well as a daily digital web, email alert and mobile news service for the region.
The changes in both markets will happen in the second week of December.
APN Australian Regional Media CEO Warren Bright said APN was determined to evolve its business model to reflect changing client and consumer needs.
"In each of these markets, although the audience for paid daily newspapers has been declining there remains very strong demand from both advertisers and the community for the twice weekly newspapers that we are retaining." he said. "We also have strong digital audiences in each market so it makes sense to combine a constantly updated digital news service with this modified print offering.
"This model will give our clients access to a vast local audience across multiple quality platforms and ensures that the news and information needs of local residents continue to be served."
Mr Bright said the new model would have a lower cost base and redundancies would be necessary in both businesses.
He said, while the loss of print publications on some days was unfortunate, the media landscape was clearly changing and companies had to be prepared to change with it.
APN continues to have strong daily print sales and readership in its other markets so there were no plans to extend this model beyond Tweed and Coffs Harbour.
"We have remarkably resilient and respected brands across our regional markets and our daily and community papers and our digital and mobile sites allow us to reach a very high proportion of households in each market," Mr Bright said.
"We are extremely focused on continuing to evolve and innovate in order to grow our audiences and better serve the needs of our local readers and advertisers. "