Readers of NewsCorp’s Australian tabloids could be paying more for less if a second price-hike in six months goes ahead.
A “substantial” price increase has reportedly been approved by chief executive Robert Thomson, and media buyers told of a major redesign which would help address rising newsprint, energy and shipping costs.
Zoe Samios in the Nine Entertainment-owned Sydney Morning Herald said the move comes as News “braces for an ageing print readership and a weaker advertising market”.
A “major redesign” of the (Sydney) Daily Telegraph, (Melbourne) Herald Sun and (Brisbane) Courier-Mail print editions would include shorter, smaller headlines and smaller typefaces – no mention of Adelaide’s The Advertiser or other tabloids (pictured) in the report.
The price increase proposal follows an increase last August taking weekend metro cover price of the tabloids from $3.50 to $4. News weekday metros cost $2.50, compared to $4 for Nine’s the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and also News’ national broadsheet The Australian.
Newsprint prices have continued to increase globally following mill closures designed to address overcapacity and boost demand.
In related news:
-News co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch has been given leave to treat Crikey’s publication and republication of an alleged defamatory article as separate instances, with the hearing moved from March to October.
-NewsCorp’s publishing costs are expected to be closely scrutinised following plans to sell real estate publisher Move, a deal reported to be worth more than US$3 billion.
-Father and son Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch have called off plans to merge Fox Corp and NewsCorp, conceding the proposed tie-up was not in the best interest of shareholders.