They don’t give a Stuff about New Zealand

The New Zealand High Court has confirmed what was long suspected. An Australian media company was within days of closing vital sections of our news media – an action it would never have dared to take on its home turf.

The release of redacted material in a judgement over the Nine Entertainment Company’s sale of Stuff is further proof of the fact that foreign ownership of news media is contrary to the public interest.

Continue reading “They don’t give a Stuff about New Zealand”

How afraid should NZME be?

TUESDAY COMMENTARY

New Zealand Herald publisher NZME should be afraid. It remains to be seen whether it should it be very afraid.

The abrupt exit by company chairman Peter Cullinane last week was the first move against the company by Australian fund manager shareholders but it will not be their last.

Cullinane resigned only hours before a shareholders’ meeting at which he was up for re-election and later conceded that “it recently became apparent that I didn’t have the support of significant Australian fund managers.”

He said the obvious reason was the depressed share price. Continue reading “How afraid should NZME be?”

No benefits in foreign ownership

TUESDAY COMMENTARY

UPDATED

NZME’s failure to persuade the High Court that there was life left in its attempt to acquire Stuff has ended that bid but leaves a pall of uncertainty over our largest media company.

Nine Entertainment made soothing noises in the wake of Justice Katz’s refusal to grant an interim injunction extending NZME’s period of exclusivity. It issued a statement in which it stated it would “…continue to operate Stuff and work for the best outcome for our audience, our people and the wider business.”

The key phrase in that statement is ‘the wider business’. Nine has told everyone who will listen that it wants out of the New Zealand market and the withdrawal by NZME of its Commerce Commission application (an effective end to its bid) does not change that. What has changed is that we now have no idea who the suitors for Stuff might be. Continue reading “No benefits in foreign ownership”