24 Aug 2015

Oamaru Mail now a free weekly

4:11 pm on 24 August 2015

The daily Oamaru Mail newspaper is being reduced to a once-a-week free community paper, and the publisher said it was so it could reach a larger audience.

The paper's publisher Allied Press said the commercial realities of producing the Oamaru Mail and the Otago Daily Times for the Waitaki area forced it to cut back.

Oamaru Mail masthead

Photo: Oamaru Mail

Allied Press owner Sir Julian Smith said making the Mail a free weekly community paper would reach more people.

"The advertisers need something with a bigger circulation and this is the way to do it," Sir Julian said.

"If you weren't going to rely on advertising you'd have to rely on subscriptions and unfortunately to make it a subscription-only newspaper I think it would be far too high a price and the average citizen would baulk at that."

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union lead organiser John Gardner said its members were happy with the change.

"They can see that having two daily papers in Oamaru wasn't something that could could last forever and they think the outome wil be positive for them.

"There has been some people leave, and they won't be replaced. Now the new structure will be put into play."

Mr Gardner said there was no confirmation yet on redundancies, but he understood they would be minimal.

Allied Press said it would appoint a North Otago editor in Oamaru to oversee the community paper, which will be launched next month.