Will the Herald and Stuff merge?

Stuff reports:

A major announcement on the future of company NZME – publisher of The New Zealand Herald – is expected by Wednesday.

Shares in its parent, News & Media, are in a trading halt on the Australian Stock Exchange pending details of a “potentially material transaction’ for its New Zealand media arm.

The Australian reported APN and Media were both considering spinning off their New Zealand media businesses which could then be merged, citing unnamed sources.

Wow, that would be huge. If the two media operations merged, I imagine there would be massive job losses as you would presumably have one combined news desk, press gallery team, website etc etc.

It would be very bad for media competition. However there is already limited competition at the print level, as every city has pretty much one daily newspaper only. I imagine the Sunday newspapers might rationalise also.

Fairfax Media acknowledged The Australian’s report in a statement to the Australian stock exchange but did not confirm its content.

“Fairfax continues to explore options for all its businesses including Fairfax New Zealand, but at this time there is nothing to disclose,” it said.

Hardly a denial.

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