Fairfax Media Limited

Fairfax Media Limited

Fairfax Media Limited, is one of Australia's largest diversified media companies. The group's operations include newspapers, magazines, radios and digital media operating in Australia and New Zealand. Fairfax Media was founded by the Fairfax family as John Fairfax Holdings but they lost control of the company on December 11, 1990. The group's Chairman is Ron Walker and the Chief Executive Officer is David Kirk. As of May 2008 Fairfax Media had a market capitalisation of over $5 billion.


In April 2003, Fairfax acquired New Zealand's Independent Newspapers Limited (INL), owners of many of New Zealand's highest-profile newspapers.

In February 2004, a proposal was put to the board of Telstra to buy John Fairfax Holdings. This proposal was not supported by the board. This proposal was known as "Project Patrick", and if successful would have seen the Australian government become the majority owner of one of Australia's largest sources of news.

In July 2005, Fairfax acquired the RSVP dating site for A$38M.

In August 2005, Fairfax's general classifieds site created in March 2004, Cracker.com.au consistently exceeded 500,000 Unique Visitors a month.

In December 2005, Fairfax acquired Stayz.com.au for A$12M.

In August 2005, Fairfax ended its 16 month search for a new Chief Executive Officer with David Kirk, a former Rugby Union World Cup winning captain of the New Zealand All Blacks being appointed to replace departing CEO Fred Hilmer. David Kirk gets the nod ahead of Fairfax COO Brian Evans (former head of Fairfax New Zealand) and Doug Flynn, who took the top job at UK Pest control company Rentokil after negotiations with Fairfax broke off.

In March 2006, Fairfax acquired New Zealand auction website Trademe.co.nz for NZ$700M.

On 4th March 2006, it was announced that Fairfax would purchase The Border Mail newspaper in Albury-Wodonga for $162 million.

In October 2006 speculation began that the company would be bought out and split up began to grow after the passage of changes to Australian media laws. Rival media company News Corporation purchased a 7.5% stake in the company at this time, with the stated aim of keeping Fairfax in one piece.

On 7th December 2006, John Fairfax Holdings and Rural Press announced the beginning of their merger proceedings. If this merger is successful, it will form a publishing company worth AU$9 billion dollars. A merger would mean Fairfax regaining control of The Canberra Times (which it owned in the 1980s), and through John B. Fairfax of Rural Press, would see the return of the Fairfax family to the company board. The company would also gain a number of other regional newspapers, radio stations and websites; plus agricultural publications in various countries.

On 12th January 2007, John Fairfax Holdings changed its name to Fairfax Media.

On 7th March 2007, Fairfax Media announced a new website for Brisbane, called the Brisbane Times. The website will initially employ 14 journalists and is an attempt by Fairfax to break into the South East Queensland market.

On 20th March 2007 Fairfax Media launched a new business website. BusinessDay.com.au aggregates feeds from the other news vehicles in the Fairfax stable as well as "from the world's most respected news sources". It features breaking news updated "every 15 minutes".

In 2007 Fairfax Media bought the radio assets of Southern Cross Broadcasting. Macquarie Media Group purchased Souther Cross for AU$1.35 billion and onsold these assets to the Fairfax Group.


Australian newspapers

Fairfax publishes the second most circulated daily papers in both Sydney and Melbourne, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age respectively. It also publishes a daily business tabloid, The Australian Financial Review.

Fairfax also owns papers in major regional centres, including the Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong), the The Newcastle Herald (Newcastle), The Border Mail (Albury-Wodonga) and The Warrnambool Standard (Warrnambool). In addition, its subsidiary Fairfax Community Newspapers publishes 35 community newspapers serving suburban New South Wales and Victoria.

As a result of its Rural Press acquisition, Fairfax will take control of many newspapers including The Canberra Times and The Land.

Australian magazines

Fairfax publishes a number of magazines, such as the(sydney)magazine, theage(melbourne)magazine and Good Weekend, which are distributed with their newspapers. In addition, the company publishes business-centred magazines including BRW, AFR Smart Investor, AFR Magazine, AFR Boss, CFO Australia, MIS and Asset.

Australian digital

Fairfax owns a profitable Australian online subsidiary, Fairfax Digital which was once known as the F2 Network. The company's websites include the subject focused:

* News: Newsbreak
* Employment: My Career
* Free Classifieds and Forums: Cracker.com.au
* Australian Holiday Accommodation: Stayz.com.au
* Cars: Drive
* Real Estate: Domain
* Personals: RSVP
* Finance: Trading Room
* Business News Business Day
* Superannuation and Managed Funds: InvestSmart
* Personal Investment: Money Manager
* Australian Rules Football: Realfooty
* Rugby Union: Rugbyheaven
* Rugby League: League HQ
* Australian Towns: Walkabout
* MyTalk: Fairfax Radio Network

Fairfax also publishes web editions of most of its newspaper titles, as well as South-East Queensland digital-only news site Brisbane Times. Both The Age and SMH produce a limited amount of video content, which is only available online.

Rural Press owns a range of similar classifieds and local newspaper websites. It is expected that these will join Fairfax Digital, the classifieds ones merging with the appropriate Fairfax sites.

Australian radio

On 2007-11-07, Fairfax Media acquired the former radio assets of Southern Cross Broadcasting (on-sold from Macquarie Media Group's purchase of SCB): 2UE Sydney, 3AW and Magic 1278 Melbourne, 4BC and 4BH Brisbane, and 6PR and 96fm Perth. Graham Mott will continue in his role as general manager of the broadcast radio group under Fairfax. Mott indicated at the time of the acquisition that national syndication of programming (such as that of the since-retired John Laws) would largely be replaced on the network with more localised syndication at a state level.

Fairfax also acquired Satellite Music Australia (SMA) as part of the SCB deal, who provide music channels to retailers, as well as Foxtel and Austar (where it is branded AIR).

Fairfax Media also owns a number of stations in rural South Australia and Queensland, as part of its previous acquisition of Rural Press.

MyTalk Datacasting Channel on November 5, 2007, was officially purchased from Southern Cross Broadcasting. Following this on February 25, 2008, MyTalk ceased broadcasting.

New Zealand

New Zealand newspapers

In New Zealand, its subsidiary Fairfax New Zealand Limited publishes a stable of papers formerly owned by Independent Newspapers Limited (INL), including The Dominion Post in Wellington, The Christchurch Press in Christchurch and The Sunday Star-Times in Auckland. Fairfax also own over 60 community newspapers.

New Zealand magazines

* AgTrader
* Central Districts Field Days
* Cuisine
* The Dairyman
* Horticulture News
* The Lifestyle Farmer
* New Zealand Grapegrower
* Straight Furrow

New Zealand digital

In NZ, Fairfax's websites form the stuff portal. Sites include:

* News: stuff
* Employment: jobstuff
* Property: propertystuff
* Personals: personalstuff
* Shopping: stuff on sale

Fairfax also owns the Cuisine website as part of its ownership of the magazine of the same name. (Credit: Wikipedia).


Media Release

25th July 2008


Fairfax Media has today announced a new stream of business for the magazine division – custom publishing.

Three titles for high-end retail centres will be produced by Fairfax Magazines, including The Chase (Chatswood Chase, NSW), Fashion Capital (Chadstone, VIC), and QP (QueensPlaza, Brisbane, QLD). These publications will join the current flagship titles which include Good Weekend, Sunday Life, the(sydney)magazine, theage(melbourne)magazine, Television and Travel + Leisure.

All three are existing publishing contracts which Fairfax Magazines has assumed responsibility for, with each title scheduled to undergo a complete transformation in terms of design and content before being re-launched in September.

“This is an exciting new direction for our growing magazines business, and one that has huge potential,” commented Lisa Hudson, Chief Executive and Publisher, Fairfax Magazines.

“Each title will feature strong, sophisticated fashion, but also great food, beauty, home interiors, and features. Each will have its own local focus and compelling reading, to ensure they will be kept and enjoyed by readers hungry for good lifestyle content,” continued Hudson.

Hudson says that new editorial and advertising teams will be employed to manage the titles, which will have a combined circulation of over 210,000 and will be distributed via targeted letter-box drop as well as on-site at the centres.

“These magazines are an important communications tool for the centres and their customers,” said Sev Celik, National Advertising Director, Fairfax Magazines. “We have increased the frequency of the titles to enable our advertisers to communicate with these customers more regularly and during key retail periods in the year.”

“Our advertising offering to both local and national clients will be extended beyond on-page opportunities to include in-store, events, promotions, online, experiential, competitions, and sponsorship,” added Mimi Cullen, Group Advertising Manager, Fairfax Magazines.

The Chase and Fashion Capital, which were previously published bi-annually and three times per year respectively, will both be issued quarterly by Fairfax. QP will continue to be published bi-annually.

“We look forward to working with our partners to create magazines that are not only beautiful, but offer real content that resonates with the sophisticated audience who shops at these centres,” said Hudson.

“After all, these shoppers are our readers, and we know how to communicate with them.”


Attention News Editors and Producers
Lisa Hudson is available for interview. A photograph of Lisa is available upon request.

About Fairfax Magazines
Fairfax Magazines, a division of Fairfax Media, is Australia’s largest publisher of lifestyle titles for the AB market covering fashion, motoring, food, wine and travel. Flagship titles include Good Weekend, the(sydney)magazine, theage(melbourne)magazine, Sunday Life, Travel + Leisure Australia and Television. Newspaper inserted magazines represent one of the fastest growth areas in the Australian magazine publishing market. Fairfax magazines are distributed in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age. Travel + Leisure Australia is available by subscription and from selected newsagents.



Fairfax Digital

The Sydney Morning Herald

The Age

The Sun-Herald

Australian Financial Review







Southern Cross Broadcasting


Peter Fitzsimmons

Sam And The City


Website Review

The Sydney Morning Herald Online

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