A new era could be in store for your daily newspaper, the Oamaru Mail.
APN New Zealand Media announced yesterday it would consolidate its publishing business in the North Island and confirmed it has put three regional publishing businesses on the market.
The publications being offered for sale are the Oamaru Mail, The Star, Canterbury and the Capital Community Newspaper group in Wellington.
Oamaru Mail staff were briefed at a meeting yesterday morning.
APN New Zealand Media chief executive Martin Simons said while the company had enjoyed a long association with the South Island, it saw more expansion opportunities in the North Island.
He said the Oamaru Mail had a long and proud history of serving readers and advertisers.
"It was first published more than 130 years ago and is currently a morning compact newspaper, published Monday to Friday," he said.
"It is regarded as the voice of North Otago."
Oamaru Mail general manager Tony Nielsen acknowledged the daily newspaper had had a number of owners in its 134-year history.
"It's a very viable business with a very dedicated staff, so I'm sure some other party will be interested in becoming our new owner," he said.
Mr Nielsen wished to reinforce that APN had no intention of closing the business.
"With every new development comes opportunity," he said.
Mr Simons said the company intended to sell all the businesses as going concerns, with staff transferring with the businesses into new ownership.
It was too early to indicate when sales might occur and staff were being kept fully informed.
In November 2011, the Oamaru Mail changed its newspaper format to start morning deliveries in a tabloid size, which has been well received in the market.
Other newspapers being offered for sale include The Star, which was founded 140 years ago and was a daily afternoon broadsheet before being converted to a bi-weekly free newspaper in the late 1980s.
Current circulation is in excess of 70,000.
The Star also publishes six free suburban titles, comprising The Pegasus Post, Observer, News Advertiser, Western News, North Canterbury News and Selwyn Times.
The Wellington group of community newspapers comprises the Independent Herald, established in 1972, along with Cook Strait News, Porirua News and Wainuiomata News, all founded in the 1990s.
The Capital Community Newspapers group also publishes the weekly free Kapiti News community newspaper, which circulates in the Paraparaumu to Otaki region, north of Wellington. APN intends to retain that title.