News Corp ignores print death wish

Dubbed as one of its largest investments in News Corp’s community news’ 130-year history, the Aussie media giant is breathing life into its print publishing with a mammoth paper stock overhaul.

News Corp Australia revealed plans today to pour cash into print to improve the paper quality of its publications, with fifteen mastheads set to upgrade to gloss or premium stock ecoprime paper.

The value of the paper investment has not yet been disclosed by News Corp, however it is understood as quite significant after the group stated it will ‘undertake one of the largest investments in its 130-year history’.

According to News Corp, the enhanced stock will produce sharper images and better colour accuracy to fifteen extra titles in its Leader Community News in Victoria.

[Related: The reality of newspapers]

Managing director for community publishing Brett Clegg says News Corp continues to see a future for printed publishing, particularly with community news.

 “This investment is a reflection of the increasing affluence of these fifteen areas and the exciting future we see in these publications,” says Clegg.

“It is critical for Leader to reflect the growing prosperity of our suburbs with a more prestigious product and a new and fresh contemporary feel.”

“Not only will the new publications look great on improved stock, but the layout of content will be refreshed to ensure the quality content we are known for is even more appealing,” adds community news general manager Fiona Mellor.

It is unknown which supplier the refreshed ecoprime stock will be sourced from, however the vast majority of News Corp paper is produced by supplier and manufacturer Norske Skog, which operates its recycling and production plant in Albury, NSW.

Fairfax-rival News Corp is employing a reverse strategy to its Australian media counterpart, choosing to invest heavily in print as Fairfax looks to separate itself from traditional publishing.

Hywood informed the public of the group’s plans to book almost $1bn in impairment charges for print publishing ahead of its 2016 financial report.

Meanwhile Murdoch-owned News Corp is injecting hard cash into its print assets with the $36m purchase of APN’s regional newspapers and its $6m launch of a new glossy mag in the Sunday Telegraph and the Herald Sun.

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