Regional newspapers closing, fears for metros

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Regional newspapers are closing as they battle a fall-off in advertising since the coronavirus got serious, with fears also raised over the future of some of the major metro papers.

No longer printed: Sunraysia Daily
No longer printed: Sunraysia Daily

This week the Elliot Newspaper Group said all its mastheads in Victoria would cease printing, including the Sunraysia Life (Mildura), The Guardian (Swan Hill), the Loddon Times (Loddon Mallee) and the world-famous Gannawarra Times.

Also regional Victoria papers the Gippsland-based Great Southern Star and the Yarram Standard have stopped printing.

The situation for metro papers is also not bright, News Corp boss Michael Miller has just warned staff at the Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph and The Australian that job cuts are “inevitable”, that reduced working hours are on the cards, and told all executives that their pay is being cut, as the media company looks at falling advertising revenue.

Fears for the big two Nine (formerly Fairfax) newspapers The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald are equally stark. Most of their recent advertising has been coming from the travel industry, targeting baby boomers with disposable income for exotic overseas tours. Now with no travel likely for six months at least those ads will cease, leaving a major gap in revenue.

The Nine newspapers are currently printed on News Corp presses at regional sites. News Corp has been planning a new greenfield print site outside Melbourne.

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