The future of the Australian Associated Press (AAP) newswire has been secured with the inking of a sale to new owners who say they are motivated by the desire to maintain the diversity of the Australian media.
- New AAP to be Led by Executive Director Emma Cowdroy and Editor Andrew Drummond
- He will continue to produce news and current events, sports, legal and political reports, as well as photography and FactCheck service.
- Business changes expected to be finalized by July 31
A consortium of philanthropists and investors on Monday finalized an agreement with current shareholders, including Nine and News Corp, to buy AAP, which has operated for over 85 years.
Following the announcement in March of the closure of the press wire, the consortium was concerned about the impact on Australian journalism.
The group said in a statement of its motivation to buy the business it owned, “a desire to protect the diversity of the media in Australia by ensuring the long-term sustainability of the AAP newswire and its provision of journalism independent and quality on issues that should be important to all Australians. “
The consortium, led by Nick Harrington, is made up of a number of people, including philanthropist John McKinnon, and was supported by media chief Peter Tonagh.
New PAA, led by Executive Director Emma Cowdroy and Editor-in-Chief Andrew Drummond, will continue to produce content, including breaking news and world news, sports, legal and political reporting, as well as photographs and service FactCheck.
The new owners have committed to retaining dozens of the current AAP workforce, but there will be job losses. The changes to the business are expected to be finalized before settlement on July 31.
Ms. Cowdroy, who previously worked as senior legal counsel for AAP, became the sales lawyer.
“Quick and factual reports, objective information and geographic coverage to every corner of Australia is our DNA.”
Other parts of the AAP group will be retained by the current shareholders. This includes Medianet, Mediaverse, AAP Directories, Pagemasters and Racing operations.
AAP Past Chair Campbell Reid, on behalf of the Board, paid tribute to the professionalism of the staff over the past few months.
“You have all stayed true to the spirit that information is published no matter what, which keeps the news wire in mind as it begins its next chapter. The board wishes the new team every success” , did he declare.