Fairfax Media Limited
is one of Australia's largest diversified media companies. The group's operations include newspapers, magazines, radios and digital media operating in Australia and New Zealand. Fairfax Media was founded by the Fairfax family as John Fairfax and Sons
, later to become John Fairfax Holdings
. However, the family lost control of the company in December 1990. The group's Chairman is Roger Corbett
Roger Campbell Corbett AO is an Australian businessman. From January 1999 to September 2006, Corbett served as CEO of Woolworths Limited, a large retailing conglomerate. He is now a director of Wal-Mart, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Fairfax Media...
and the Chief Executive Officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...
is Greg Hywood
Greg Hywood is a Walkley award-winning Australian journalist and editor and the CEO of Fairfax Media, one of Australia's largest media organisations.-Career:...
. As of May 2008 Fairfax Media had a market capitalisation of over . By September 2011 this had fallen by more than 60 per cent to less than A$2 billion.
John Fairfax , English-born journalist, is notable for the incorporation of the major newspapers of modern day Australia.-Early life:...
purchased the Sydney Morning Herald
in 1841. Several generations of the Fairfax family continued to control the company.
1950s to 1999
The Australian Financial Review
The Australian Financial Review is a leading business and finance newspaper in Australia.Fairfax Media publishes it in a compact format six days a week, Monday to Saturday....
was founded in 1951. In that decade, Fairfax started two television stations, ATN
-Medicine:*Acute tubular necrosis, a medical condition involving the death of tubular cells that form the tubule that transports urine to the ureters*Asymmetric tonic neck reflex*Atypical trigeminal neuralgia-Television:...
and QTQ. Fairfax began expanding in the 1960s, acquiring, among others, The Age
The Age is a daily broadsheet newspaper, which has been published in Melbourne, Australia since 1854. Owned and published by Fairfax Media, The Age primarily serves Victoria, but is also available for purchase in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and border regions of South Australia and...
, The Newcastle Herald
The Newcastle Herald is a local tabloid newspaper published daily, Monday to Saturday, in Newcastle, New South Wales, the largest non-capital city in Australia. It is the only local newspaper that serves the entire Hunter and Central Coast regions six days a week...
and the Illawarra Mercury
The Illawarra Mercury is the only daily newspaper in Wollongong, the third largest city in the State of New South Wales, Australia. It has been published since 1855, making it one of Australia's oldest newspapers...
. In 1979, Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....
attempted to take over rival The Herald and Weekly Times
. Due to the costs of defending against the takeover, Fairfax sold its television properties, including the Seven Network
The Seven Network is an Australian television network owned by Seven West Media Limited. It dates back to 4 November 1956, when the first stations on the VHF7 frequency were established in Melbourne and Sydney.It is currently the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach...
. In 1988, Fairfax sold its magazines (including Woman's Day
Woman's Day is an Australian magazine published by ACP Magazines. It is the second largest magazine in Australia. The magazine recently underwent significant layoffs....
People is a weekly Australian lad's mag published by ACP Publishing, a division of PBL Media. It has been published since the 1950s. It is not to be confused with the gossip magazine known by that name in the United States; that magazine is published under the name Who in Australia.People focuses...
, and Good Housekeeping
Good Housekeeping is a women's magazine owned by the Hearst Corporation, featuring articles about women's interests, product testing by The Good Housekeeping Institute, recipes, diet, health as well as literary articles. It is well known for the "Good Housekeeping Seal," popularly known as the...
) to the Australian Consolidated Press, and discontinued its Sydney afternoon tabloid The Sun
The Sun was an afternoon tabloid newspaper, first published in 1910, by Fairfax Media in Sydney, Australia as the afternoon companion to the The Sydney Morning Herald.It was last published in March, 1988...
, transferring some of its content and the sponsorship of the City to Surf
to its new Sunday tabloid The Sun-Herald
The Sun-Herald is an Australian tabloid newspaper published on Sundays in Sydney by Fairfax Media. It is the Sunday counterpart of The Sydney Morning Herald. In the 6 months to September 2005, The Sun-Herald had a circulation of 515,000...
which also replaced the broadsheet Sunday Herald
In 1987 Warwick Fairfax
Warwick Fairfax is an Australian businessman who had tried unsuccessfully to privatise his family's media company Fairfax Media in 1987. He successfully took over the company but on 10 December 1990 the company collapsed and a receiver was appointed...
, then aged 26, controversially bought out his family's holdings in the company by borrowing heavily. He successfully took it over but on 10 December 1990 the company collapsed and a receiver was appointed, with company debts of A$1.7 billion. By 1993, the complany was re-listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
The Australian Securities Exchange was created by the merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange in July 2006. It is the primary stock exchange group in Australia....
and the two biggest shareholders of John Fairfax Holdings were the Canadian newspaper magnate, Conrad Black
Conrad Moffat Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, OC, KCSG, PC is a Canadian-born member of the British House of Lords, and a historian, columnist and publisher, who was for a time the third largest newspaper magnate in the world. Lord Black controlled Hollinger International, Inc...
and his Hollinger Group with 25%, and the Australian media mogul, Kerry Packer
Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer, AC was an Australian media tycoon. The son of Sir Frank Packer and Gretel Bullmore, the Packer family company owned controlling interest in both the Nine television network and leading Australian publishing company Australian Consolidated Press, which were later...
and his publicly-listed company, Publishing and Broadcasting Limited
Publishing and Broadcasting Limited was one of Australia's largest companies, with interests primarily in media and gaming. The company demerged in late 2007, spinning out its gaming interests into Crown Limited...
with 15%. Due to Australian government concerns over media consolidation
Concentration of media ownership refers to a process whereby progressively fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media...
that limited any single foreign shareholder holding more than 25% interest in national and metropolitan newspapers, after intense lobbying for the right to increase his stake, Black conceeded defeat in 1996, selling his holding to the New Zealand corporate "raider" Brierley Investments, that was ultimately subject ot the same restrictions.
2000 to present
In April 2003, Fairfax acquired New Zealand's Independent Newspapers Limited (INL), owners of many of New Zealand's highest-profile newspapers. In July 2005, Fairfax acquired the RSVP dating site for A$38 million. In August 2005, Fairfax's general classifieds site created in March 2004, Cracker.com.au consistently exceeded 500,000 unique visitors a month. In December 2005, Fairfax acquired Stayz Pty Ltd
In August 2005, Fairfax ended its 16 month search for a new Chief Executive Officer with David Kirk
David Edward Kirk, MBE, , is a former New Zealand rugby union player. He is best known for having been the captain of the All Blacks when they won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987....
, a former Rugby Union World Cup winning captain of the New Zealand All Blacks
The New Zealand men's national rugby union team, known as the All Blacks, represent New Zealand in what is regarded as its national sport....
being appointed to replace departing CEO Fred Hilmer
Professor Frederick George Hilmer AO is an Australian academic and business figure.Professor Hilmer obtained from the University of Sydney the degree of Bachelor of Laws with Honours Class II in April 1966....
. David Kirk got the job ahead of Fairfax COO Brian Evans (former head of Fairfax New Zealand) and Doug Flynn
Robert Douglas Flynn Jr. is a former Major League Baseball infielder from -. He is best remembered for being one of the players the New York Mets acquired in the infamous "Midnight Massacre."-Cincinnati Reds:...
, who took the top job at UK Pest control company Rentokil after negotiations with Fairfax broke off. In March 2006, Fairfax acquired New Zealand auction website Trademe.co.nz for NZ$700M. On 4 March 2006, it was announced that Fairfax would purchase The Border Mail
The Border Mail is a daily newspaper published in Albury-Wodonga, Australia, serving the twin cities and the surrounding region.The first edition was printed on 24 October 1903 by editor Hamilton Mott and his brother Decimus...
newspaper in Albury-Wodonga
Albury-Wodonga is the broad settlement incorporating the twin Australian cities of Albury and Wodonga, which are separated geographically by the Murray River and politically by a state border: Albury on the north of the river is part of New South Wales while Wodonga on the south bank is in...
for A$162 million. In October 2006, speculation began to grow that the company would be bought out and split up after the passage of changes to Australian media laws. Rival media company News Limited
News Limited is one of Australia's largest diversified media companies. The publicly listed company's interests span newspaper and magazine publishing, Internet, Pay TV, National Rugby League, market research, DVD and film distribution, and film and television production trading assets.News Limited...
purchased a 7.5% stake in the company at this time, with the stated aim of keeping Fairfax in one piece.
On 7 December 2006, John Fairfax Holdings and Rural Press
Rural Press Limited was an Australian media company which owned approximately 170 newspaper and magazine titles, The Canberra Times being the most prominent. These were predominantly in rural Australia, though it also owned a number of agricultural publications in the United States and New Zealand...
announced the beginning of their merger proceedings. Once merged, the new entity formed a publishing company worth A$9 billion and resulted in regaining control of The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times newspaper was founded in 1926 in Canberra, Australia by Arthur Shakespeare.It was the second paper to be printed in the city, the first being The Federal Capital Pioneer. The paper was sold to the Fairfax group in the 1960s by Arthur Shakespeare on the condition that it continue...
(which it owned in the 1980s), and through John B. Fairfax of Rural Press, saw the return of the Fairfax family to the company board. The company also gained a number of other regional newspapers, radio stations and websites; plus agricultural publications in various countries. On 12 January 2007, John Fairfax Holdings changed its name to Fairfax Media.
On 7 March 2007, Fairfax Media announced a new website for Brisbane, called the Brisbane Times
. The website initially employed 14 journalists and was an attempt by Fairfax to break into the South East Queensland market. On 20 March 2007 Fairfax Media launched a new business website, BusinessDay.com.au
that aggregated feeds from the other news vehicles in the Fairfax stable as well as "from the world's most respected news sources". It featured breaking news updated "every 15 minutes". Also in 2007 Fairfax Media bought the radio assets of Southern Cross Broadcasting
Southern Cross Broadcasting Limited was a diversified Australian media company, that owned and operated a variety of media businesses, primarily radio and television.-History:...
. Macquarie Media Group purchased Southern Cross for A$1.35 billion and onsold these assets to the Fairfax Group.
On 26 August 2007, Kirk and Deputy CEO Brian McCarthy announced that 550 staff would be cut as part of a "business improvement" programme. The staff reductions would take place in both Australia and New Zealand, with the latter country bearing the brunt of the cuts, with 160 full-time employees losing their jobs. On 5 December, David Kirk tendered his resignation, and on 10 December Brian McCarthy (former Rural Press CEO) was appointed as CEO. A new campaign, "Fair Go, Fairfax: Don't discount journalism", was launched by the MEAA in protest to the cuts arguing that the jobs losses will affect "quality journalism".
In late 2011, John B. Fairfax and his family investment company, Marinya Media, sold their remaining 9.7% stake in Fairfax Media for A$189 million. The sale came after an earlier dispute between John B. Fairfax and Chairman of the Fairfax Media board, Ron Walker, that led to the very public departure of Walker. Continued poor performance of Fairfax Media in light of changing news services was cited as one of the reasons for the sale of Marinya Media's interests in Fairfax. John B. Fairfax has earlier stood down from the Fairfax board and his son, Nick Fairfax, was reported to be discussing his future with the rest of the company board.
Fairfax publishes the second most circulated daily papers in both Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...
and Sydney, The Age
and The Sydney Morning Herald
respectively. It also publishes a daily business tabloid, The Australian Financial Review
Fairfax also owns papers in major regional centres, including the Illawarra Mercury
(Wollongong), The Newcastle Herald
(Newcastle), The Border Mail
(Albury-Wodonga) and The Warrnambool Standard
, (Warrnambool). In addition, its subsidiary Fairfax Community Newspapers publishes 35 community newspapers serving suburban Victoria
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....
and New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...
As a result of its Rural Press acquisition, Fairfax has taken control of many newspapers including The Canberra Times
and The Land
Fairfax publishes a number of magazines, such as the(sydney)magazine
and Good Weekend
, which are distributed with their newspapers. In addition, the company publishes business-centred magazines including BRW
BRW is an Australian weekly business magazine published by the Fairfax Media group. It regularly compiles lists which rank corporations and individuals according to various criteria, similar to Fortune magazine in the United States.BRW provides news and commentary on the economy, business and...
, AFR Smart Investor
, AFR Magazine
, AFR Boss
, CFO Australia
, MIS (magazine)
and Asset (Magazine)
Fairfax owns a profitable Australian online subsidiary, Fairfax Digital which was once known as the F2 Network. Fairfax publishes web editions of most of its newspaper titles, as well as digital only news sites in South-East Queensland as the Brisbane Times
; and in Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...
as WA Today
. Both The Age
and The Sydney Morning Herald
produce a limited amount of video content, which is only available online. Fairfax websites have non-exclusive licensing deals to replay video content from broadcaster Network Ten
Network Ten , is one of Australia's three major commercial television networks. Owned-and-operated stations can be found in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, while affiliates extend the network to cover most of the country...
Rural Press owns a range of similar classifieds and local newspaper websites.
On 11 July 2007, Fairfax Media acquired the former radio assets of Southern Cross Broadcasting (on-sold from Macquarie Media Group's purchase of SCB): 2UE
2UE is a commercial radio station in Sydney, Australia owned by Fairfax Media. It is Sydney's and Australia's oldest commercial radio station, first broadcasting on 26 January 1925 on 1025 kHz AM before moving to 950 kHz in 1935 when virtually all Australian radio stations were assigned new...
3AW is a talkback radio station in Melbourne, Australia on 693 kHz AM. It began transmission on 22 February 1932 as Melbourne's fifth commercial radio station.-History:...
and Magic 1278
Magic 1278 is a radio station operating in Melbourne, Australia.-History:The station commenced broadcasting in 1992, but was derived from legendary radio station 3XY which began transmission in 1935...
Melbourne, 4BC and 4BH
4BH is a radio station in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia. Its analogue broadcast frequency is 882 KHz AM and markets itself for the baby boomer market. 4BH also broadcasts in digital using the dab+ format on the Brisbane 2 DAB ensemble channel 9B 204.640 MHz...
Brisbane, and 6PR
6PR, known as 882 6PR, is a commercial radio station based in Perth, Australia. Its focus is on news, talk and sport, and is Perth's only commercial talkback radio station. 6PR is owned by Fairfax Media, an Australian media company that owns television and radio businesses throughout Australia and...
and 96fm Perth. Graham Mott will continue in his role as general manager of the broadcast radio group under Fairfax. Mott indicated at the time of the acquisition that national syndication of programming (such as that of the since-retired John Laws
Richard John Sinclair "John" Laws, CBE , an Australian radio presenter, sometimes known as Lawsie, was from the 1970s until his retirement in 2007, the host of a hugely successful morning radio program, which mixed music with interviews, opinion, live advertising readings and listener talkback...
) would largely be replaced on the network with more localised syndication at a state level.
Fairfax also acquired Satellite Music Australia (SMA) as part of the SCB deal, who provide music channels to retailers, as well as Foxtel
Foxtel is an Australian pay television company, operating cable, direct broadcast satellite television and IPTV services. It was formed in 1995 through a joint venture established between Telstra and News Corporation....
Austar is an Australian telecommunications company. Its main business activity is Subscription Television but it is also involved with internet access and mobile phones...
(where it is branded AIR). MyTalk
MyTalk was a Fairfax Media television channel available to viewers of digital television in Australia. The datacast channel, launched on 13 April 2007, was designed to supplement the Southern Cross Ten and Southern Cross Television digital television services and the online portal...
Datacasting Channel was officially purchased from Southern Cross Broadcasting on 5 November 2007, and ceased broadcasting on 25 February 2008.
manages the commercial licensing and distribution of text, photographic and multimedia content to media companies and commercial clients worldwide. Fairfax Syndication has enabled instant online licensing and has developed a customised syndication application ‘API’ that allows existing and future syndication clients access to real-time content from multiple websites for immediate use on other platforms. The division also represents their image library and photo syndication service containing over 16 million images.
In March 2009, the CEO of Fairfax New Zealand became Allen Williams.
Fairfax New Zealand News (FNZ)
On 1 September 2011 Fairfax New Zealand announced the launch of Fairfax New Zealand News (FNZ) partly as a response to the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) closure but also reflects Fairfax's drive to improve its journalism.
New Zealand newspapers
In New Zealand, its subsidiary Fairfax New Zealand
Fairfax New Zealand Limited is the largest media company operating in New Zealand, and is part of Australia's Fairfax Media.Fairfax Media established its operation on the 1 July 2003 purchase of the publishing assets of Independent Newspapers Ltd...
Limited publishes a stable of papers formerly owned by Independent Newspapers Limited
This article refers to the New Zealand company. For the Irish company formerly of the same name, see Independent News & Media.Independent Newspapers Limited was a media concern in New Zealand.-History:...
(INL), including The Dominion Post
The Dominion Post is a metropolitan broadsheet newspaper published in Wellington, New Zealand, owned by the Australian Fairfax group, owners of The Age, Melbourne, and The Sydney Morning Herald.- Foundation :...
Wellington is the capital city and third most populous urban area of New Zealand, although it is likely to have surpassed Christchurch due to the exodus following the Canterbury Earthquake. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range...
, The Christchurch Press
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's second-largest urban area after Auckland. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of...
, The Sunday Star-Times
The Sunday Star-Times is a New Zealand newspaper published each weekend by the Fairfax group in Auckland. It covers both national and international news, and is a member of the New Zealand Press Association and Newspaper Publishers Association of New Zealand.-History:The Sunday Star-Times was first...
and Suburban Newspapers
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...
. Fairfax also own over 60 community newspapers.
New Zealand magazines
Cuisine is a bi-monthly food and wine magazine published in New Zealand. It began publication in 1986, and has also existed in website form since December 2000.The magazine features recipes, restaurant reviews, wine reviews and travel features...
- NZ House & Garden
- NZ Gardener
- NZ Life & Leisure
- The Cut
- NZ Lifestyle Block
- NZ Horse & Pony
- NZ Trucking
- Fish & Game
Rural Press Limited
- The Dairyman
- Horticulture News
- The Lifestyle Farmer
- New Zealand Grapegrower
- Straight Furrow
- Central Districts Field Days
New Zealand digital
In NZ, Fairfax's websites form the Stuff.co.nz
Stuff.co.nz is a New Zealand news website owned and operated by Fairfax New Zealand, a subsidiary of the Australian company Fairfax Media. Stuff hosts the websites for Fairfax's New Zealand newspapers, including the country's second and third highest circulation daily newspapers The Dominion Post...
portal. Sites include News, Employment, Property, Personals and Shopping. Fairfax also owns the Cuisine
website as part of its ownership of the magazine of the same name.
Fairfax acquired a number of US agricultural publications from Rural Press on 8 May 2007. The head of Fairfax Media's agricultural division and the one who instigated this buy up is Michael Blommley.
Farm Progress is the publisher of 22 agricultural and ranching magazines. The company dates back nearly 200 years. Farm Progress Companies is owned by Fairfax Media, an Australian media company based in New South Wales....
- American Agriculturist
- California Farmer
- Carolina-Virginia Farmer
- Dakota Farmer
- Farm Futures
- Indiana Prairie Farmer
- Kansas Farmer
- Michigan Farmer
- Mid-South Farmer
- Missouri Ruralist
- Nebraska Farmer
- Ohio Farmer
- Prairie Farmer
- Rural Life Magazine
- Southern Farmer
- The Farmer
- The Farmer-Stockman
- Wallaces Farmer
- Western Farmer-Stockman
- Wisconsin Agriculturist