Stuff (company)

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Stuff Ltd
Privately held company
IndustryPublishing
Founded30 June 2003 Edit this on Wikidata
HeadquartersWellington, New Zealand
Key people
Sinead Boucher (owner)
Websitestuff.co.nz

Stuff Ltd (previously Fairfax New Zealand) is a privately held news media company operating in New Zealand. It operates Stuff, the country's largest news website, and owns nine daily newspapers, including New Zealand's second and third-highest circulation daily newspapers, The Dominion Post and The Press, and the highest circulation weekly, Sunday Star-Times.[1] Magazines published include TV Guide, New Zealand's top-selling weekly magazine.[2] Stuff also owns social media network Neighbourly.[3]

Stuff Ltd has been owned by Sinead Boucher[4] since 31 May 2020. It was called Fairfax New Zealand Limited until 1 February 2018.[5][6]

History[edit]

The print publications and the Stuff website previously belonged to Independent Newspapers Limited, until they were sold to Australian company Fairfax Media in 2003.[5] In 2016, Stuff Ltd (then known as Fairfax New Zealand) and media company New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) sought clearance from the Commerce Commission to merge their operations in New Zealand. As part of the merger proposal, Stuff's Australian owner Fairfax Media would have received a 41 per cent stake in the combined business plus $55 million cash. On 2 May 2017, the Commerce Commission declined to approve the merger. Stuff Ltd. and NZME appealed the Commission's decision to the Wellington High Court, which upheld the Commission's decision on 18 December 2017. In June 2018, the companies appealed the Commission's decision at the New Zealand Court of Appeal, which rejected their merger bid on 25 September 2018.[7][8] In October 2018, Stuff and NZME abandoned their first merger attempt.[9]

In December 2018 Fairfax Media merged with Australia's Nine Entertainment.[5] In July 2019, Nine Entertainment attempted to sell Stuff but did not receive any adequate bids.[10] In November 2019, NZME confirmed that it had entered into negotiations with Nine Entertainment to purchase Stuff and submitted a proposal to the New Zealand Government regarding a "possible transaction." NZME proposed a "Kiwishare" arrangement that would ringfence Stuff's editorial operations and protect local journalism.[11][12]

On 11 May 2020, NZME offered to purchase Stuff for a symbolic $1 on the basis of saving jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Stuff's parent company Nine Entertainment terminated further discussion with NZME.[13][14][15] In response, NZME filed an emergency junction at the Auckland High Court to force Nine Entertainment back into negotiations.[16] On 19 May, the Auckland High Court rejected NZME's bid for an interim injunction against Nine Entertainment.[17][18]

On 25 May, Nine Entertainment agreed to sell Stuff to Stuff's chief executive Sinead Boucher for NZ$1, with the transaction due to be completed by 31 May. This marks the return of the company into New Zealand ownership. Nine will retain all of the proceeds of the sale of wholesale broadband business Stuff Fibre to telecommunications company Vocus Group, and ownership of Stuff's Wellington printing press.[19][20][21]

Management[edit]

Allen Williams was chief executive officer of Fairfax New Zealand Limited from April 2009 until April 2013, when he was promoted to managing director of Australian Publishing Media.[22] Andrew Boyle was acting managing director until Simon Tong started as managing director in September 2013.[23] Tong left in March 2017, just days prior to the Commerce Commission announcing their final decision on the proposed Fairfax New Zealand merger with New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME).[24] Tong was succeeded by Boyle as acting managing director until Sinead Boucher was appointed chief executive officer in August 2017. Boucher had first been employed by Fairfax as a branch office reporter for The Press in 1993.[25]

Current publications[edit]

Major mastheads[edit]

Community newspapers[edit]

Auckland[edit]

  • Auckland City Harbour News
  • The Bay Chronicle
  • Central Leader
  • Dargaville & District News
  • East & Bays Courier
  • Eastern Courier
  • Manukau Courier
  • Northern News
  • North Harbour News
  • North Shore Times
  • Nor-West News
  • Papakura Courier
  • Rodney Times
  • Waiheke Marketplace
  • Western Leader
  • Whangarei Leader

Wellington[edit]

  • The Horowhenua Mail
  • The Hutt News
  • Kapi-Mana News
  • Kapiti Observer
  • Upper Hutt Leader
  • Wairarapa News
  • The Wellingtonian

Waikato[edit]

  • Piako Post
  • Taupo Times
  • South Waikato News
  • Matamata Chronicle
  • Hamilton Press

Other[edit]

Magazines[edit]

Former publications[edit]

Stuff announced in February 2018 that it would close or sell 28 of its smaller community and rural mastheads. The 28 titles are:[26]

  • Avenues
  • Waikato Farmer
  • Admire Marlborough
  • NZ Dairy Farmer
  • Discover Magazine
  • Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook
  • Admire Nelson
  • Hastings Mail
  • Christchurch Mail
  • Napier Mail
  • The Tribune
  • Kaikoura Star
  • Invercargill Eye
  • Auto Xtra
  • South Canterbury Herald
  • Clutha Leader
  • Waiheke Marketplace
  • NewsLink
  • Wairarapa News
  • Queenstown Mirror
  • NZ Farmer
  • Waitaki Herald
  • Canterbury Farmer
  • North Waikato News
  • Central District Farmer
  • Rotorua Review
  • Otago Southland Farmer
  • Ruapehu Press

Digital properties[edit]

In November 2017 Stuff Ltd took full ownership of hyper-local social media network Neighbourly, having first bought a 22.5 percent stake in December 2014.[3] In May 2018 Stuff Ltd took full ownership of internet service provider Stuff Fibre, which won the People's Choice Award, NZ Broadband Provider of the Year, Best Fibre Broadband Provider, and Best Broadband Innovation at the 2019 Broadband Compare Awards.[27] Stuff Ltd also had a 49 percent share in New Zealand-based energy retailer energyclubnz.[28]

In 2019, Stuff Ltd launched a video platform, Play Stuff. The website hosts free content sourced from content providers such as BBC, Reuters and the Press Association as well as local content from NZ On Screen and Bravo New Zealand.[29]

On 20 May 2020, Stuff sold Stuff Fibre to Vocus[30] and sold its share of energyclubnz back to its founder.[31]

Awards[edit]

Stuff Ltd has won both national and international awards for its corporate leadership and management.

Year Award Category Result
2017 Attitude Awards[32] Employer Award Winner
2019 Deloitte Top 200[33] Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Finalist
2019 INMA (International News Media Association) Global Media Awards[34] Best new concept or innovation to create new profit centres First place
Best idea to grow advertising sales or retain advertising clients Second place
Best idea to encourage print readership or engagement Third place

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Zealand's Top Local News Sites - July 2018". www.nielsen.com. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  2. ^ "About TV Guide". Stuff. Stuff Limited. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Fairfax NZ acquires Neighbourly website". Newsroom. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  4. ^ Graham-McLay, Charlotte (25 May 2020). "New Zealand media group Stuff to be sold to chief executive Sinead Boucher for NZ$1". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Stuff's journey from newspaper pioneer to website to 'portfolio' business". Stuff. 1 February 2018. Archived from the original on 13 December 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  6. ^ Pullar-Strecker, Tom (1 February 2018). "Stuff to push hard into digital markets after rebrand". Stuff. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  7. ^ "NZME Limited; Fairfax New Zealand Limited". Commerce Commission. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  8. ^ Pullar-Strecker, Tom (25 September 2018). "Stuff, NZME lose at Court of Appeal over merger". Stuff. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  9. ^ "NZME and Stuff pull plug on merger". Newsroom. 24 October 2018. Archived from the original on 4 September 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  10. ^ Rutherford, Hamish (23 July 2019). "Nine will 'focus on the long term' with bids for Stuff below fair value". Stuff. Archived from the original on 6 November 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  11. ^ "NZME confirms it is in discussions to buy Stuff". Radio New Zealand. 19 November 2019. Archived from the original on 26 February 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  12. ^ Malpass, Luke; Watkins, Tracy (19 November 2020). "Kiwishare model mooted to protect journalism in new NZME-Stuff takeover bid". Stuff. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  13. ^ Andelane, Lana (11 May 2020). "Nine Network says talks with NZME over Stuff acquisition were 'terminated' last week". Newshub. Archived from the original on 12 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  14. ^ "World Politics Pacific Te Ao Māori Sport Business Country Local Democracy Reporting Comment & Analysis In Depth Weather BUSINESS MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY11 May 2020 NZME makes offer to buy rival Stuff for $1". Radio New Zealand. 11 May 2020. Archived from the original on 15 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Response to NZME Announcement" (PDF). Australian Stock Exchange. 11 May 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  16. ^ Gay, Edward (15 May 2020). "Media firm NZME set out to hurt Stuff as buyout bid turned sour - lawyer". Stuff. Archived from the original on 19 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  17. ^ "NZME declined an interim injunction against Stuff owner Nine". Radio New Zealand. 19 May 2020. Archived from the original on 19 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  18. ^ "NZME loses interim injunction against Stuff owner Nine". Newstalk ZB. 19 May 2020. Archived from the original on 19 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  19. ^ Pullar-Strecker, Tom (25 May 2020). "Stuff ownership to return to NZ after management buy-out". Stuff. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  20. ^ Rutherford, Hamish (25 May 2020). "Stuff sold for $1 to CEO Sinead Boucher by Nine Entertainment". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher buys company for $1". Radio New Zealand. 25 May 2020. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Fairfax NZ names new managing director". Stuff. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Fairfax appoints NZ chief operating officer". Stuff. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  24. ^ "New CEO, rebrand for Fairfax NZ". Radio New Zealand. 22 August 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Sinead Boucher named as Stuff chief executive". Stuff. 22 August 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Fairfax to sell or close 28 print mastheads". The New Zealand Herald. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Stuff takes 100% ownership of Stuff Fibre". bizedge.co.nz. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  28. ^ "Former Genesis Energy retail head Goadby teams up with Fairfax for 'at-cost' energy 'club'". NBR. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  29. ^ "Stuff unveils video platform". futurefive.co.nz. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  30. ^ "Vocus buys Stuff Fibre". Vocus. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  31. ^ Keall, Chris (25 May 2020). "How much did Vocus pay for Stuff Fibre? An indicator". NZ Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  32. ^ "2017 Attitude Awards Finalists". attitudelive.com. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  33. ^ "Deloitte Top 200: Finalists announced for celebration of Kiwi business". NZ Herald. 20 October 2019. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  34. ^ "INMA reveals Global Media Awards winners, Helsingin Sanomat takes top prize". International News Media Association (INMA). Retrieved 29 February 2020.