9 Jun 2010

Fairfax to close business weekly

2:57 pm on 9 June 2010

Fairfax Media is closing the business weekly The Independent in July.

The company says there will be no redundancies. Staff will be merged into a Fairfax business reporting team.

The paper was started in 1992 by the late Warren Berryman and Jenni MacManus as a rival to the The National Business Review (NBR). It flourished during the Winebox Inquiry.

Ms MacManus says it is sad to see the end of a fiercely independent paper based on investigation and solid research.

Fairfax Media, which publishes The Dominion Post, The Press, The Waikato Times and the Stuff online website, says the paper's readership had shrunk to 20,000, and it made more sense to use valued staff more efficiently elsewhere.

The Independent has about 20,000 readers, while Stuff's BusinessDay website attracted 579,000 hits in May alone.

Fairfax Media executive editor Paul Thompson says parts of The Independent, including the Chalkie column, will continue.

Fairfax bought the weekly in 2006 to bolster its position in Auckland and to compete against The New Zealand Herald and NBR.

Jenni McManus will now join other staff in a merged Fairfax business reporting team.