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Panpa Bulletin : August 2006
14 | PANPA bULLETIN august 2006 Award winning formula Throughout its 150 years the publication developed a fine repu- tation, winning several prestigious international awards, the most re- cent in its 147th year of publication when it won the PANPA newspaper of the Year, Norske Skog Premier Marketing Award and Pride in Print Gold Medal Award Excellence. The paper has had 17 different editors and has been published from seven different premises on six different sites, none more than five minutes' walk apart and all within a block of the Whanganui River. In 1886the thirdbuilding burned down with the fire destroying the machines, type, and bound vol- umes of the previous 30 years of the paper. Premises were rebuilt on the same site and The Herald came to the rescue, publishing The Chronicle for the morning and its own paper in the afternoon. At the turn of the century The Chronicle relocated again moving from hand-setting to linotype in a weekend, doubly significant be- cause it had adopted the process which became the cornerstone of the printing industry until compu- terisation and enabled the paper to increase to eight pages In 1912 following the purchase of land just up the road on the cor- ner of Rutland Street and what is now Drews Avenue, The Chronicle moved into custom-built premis- es. There it remained for 77 years responding to innovations such as computerisation. Merger brings strength By 1960, there was talk of buy-in from international interests and the regionals scuttled for security. Newspaper publishers in Rotorua, Levin and Wanganui merged their interests as United Publishing and Printing (UPP), with the legendary Ray Smith managing the process smoothly. In 1967 The Chronicle became the third newspaper in New Zea- land using the revolutionary offset press, an expensive exercise be- cause so much new equipment was needed. The evening Herald changed over to offset printing the same day but the city could support only one publishing factory. In 1971 UPP took over the financially troubled Herald and its plant was sold and until 1986 both papers were print- ed from the same factory. In 1972 the company changed the name to Wanganui Newspa- pers to acknowledge the two daily newspapers and the extensive commercial printing being pro- duced on one press from the same premises. It was an uneasy time for man- agement and staff with 70 more staff to be fitted into The Chronicle building. In time, life settled down, with the 140 staff merging to pro- duce the two publications and ever-increasing commercial print- ing. George Abbott assumed the role of joint editor, managing two staffs and merging them into a compe- tent, happy working team. Eventually in 1986 with adver- tisers complaining that it was dif- ficult to spread their dollars over two publications, The Herald was downsized to a weekly publication, now known as Midweek while The Chronicle was retained as the city's daily. In 1989, it was relocated once more this time to its current river- bank site. In the first weekend of October 1989, The Chronicle rolled off the press for the last time in Rutland Street. On the Monday morning, with the press set up in the new premises, the paper rolled out from Taupo Quay. Since then other changes to in-house processes have ensured continued smooth publication of the paper. In 1994 the company installed a new printing press. And in 1995 a computerised editorial system with electronic keyboards replaced the old manual typewrit- ers, hand-marking of sub-editorial material and the paper moved into a new era. Current general Manager Andy Jarden said the celebrations this coming September will recognise The Chronicle's proud publishing history. "From those humble beginnings in 1856 The Chronicle has grown and prospered to become one of the most awarded daily newspa- pers in Australasia, including the coveted PANPA (Pacific Area News- papers Publishers Association) Newspaper of theYear in 2003," Mr Jarden said. "And no other media can match The Chronicle's reach into Wan- ganui city and the region. As well as a major employer and integral part of the Wanganui region for 150 years, we continue to be the region's main information provider and news source." He said The Chronicle was for- tunate to have a loyal hardworking staff, along with supportive owners APN New Zealand Ltd, that in turn haslinks to one ofthelargestinterna- tional media groups, Independent News and Media, based in Ireland. "With the continued support of our many loyal readers and advertis- ing clients The Wanganui Chronicle will successfully meet the challenges of the next 150 years and more," Mr Jarden said. A weekend of celebrations is planned for September 16-17, with a get-together luncheon on Sat- urday, a formal ball on Saturday night and a river cruise on Sunday morning. A public celebration will be staged in the central city on Mon- day, September 18. Chronicling New Zealand’s news for 150 years THE lively format designed by News Interactive for News Lim- ited's recently launched seven- day PerthNow website has been adopted for the sites of three of the company's major daily titles -- Melbourne's Herald Sun, Sydney's Daily Telegraph and Brisbane's Courier-Mail. The sites of Adelaide's Adver- tiser and Hobart's Mercury are to be similarly revamped. The crisper presentation and content improvement of the newspaper sites follows the recent promotion of Sigrid Kirk, formerly editor-in-chief of News Limited's two main websites, news.com.au and foxsports.com.au, to the new senior role of group publisher of the sites. The promotion makes her re- sponsible for managing every aspect of the sites including com- mercial and technical strategy, operations, and content. On her appointment as group publisher Kirk, who has won praise for her successful develop- ment of interactive content such as blogs, video, film and television guides while she was editor-in- chief, said News Corporation had an unrivalled collection of local, national and global content as- sets. "News Interactive has the abil- ity to combine this content with interactive applications to cre- ate Australian websites no other media company can match," she said. News claims it was the first on- line publisher to have transmitted user video of Queensland's dev- astating Cyclone Larry and that news.com.au was the only site in Australia which offered round- the-clock images of the Beacons- field mine rescue by using an on- the-scene webcam. Prior to joining News Interac- tive, Kirk was group manager of online content and media with Telstra Bigpond, director of con- tent programming at Excite@ Home, chief of staff at The Sydney Morning Herald and head of net- work content at ninemsn. As part of its new online service, Perth's Sunday Times is now offer- ing a free PerthNow lunch-time e-letter, providing "a snapshot of local, national and international news, plus entertainment and sports highlights". To sign up, visitors to the paper's site simply click on a link at the bottom of the homepage to have the lunchtime newsletter sent to their email address. The newsletter draws on the resources of The Sunday Times newsroom and news.com.au to provide the latest local and world events, and also attaches video from Channel Nine Perth and au- dio from radio stations 6PR and 96fm to its stories. PerthNow format rolled out into News majors