Nine and Fairfax say quality news is in their DNA

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Quality news is part of the DNA of both newspaper group Fairfax Media and television network Nine, according to the CEOs of the merging media businesses.

Fairfax, faced with growing digital media and declining newspaper print revenue, transformed itself to be best of the breed over the last eight years, says Greg Hywood, CEO of Fairfax Media.

“We believe that nine is an great home for the mastheads,” he told a briefing of analysts that.

“Nine like us has a long tradition of quality journalism.”

Fairfax runs some of Australia’s most recognisable mastheads, including the Australian Financial Review, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Nine has some of Australia’s longest-running current affairs shows, including A Current Affair and an Australian version of the US-created 60 Minutes.

The merged business will be called Nine, the Fairfax name fading into the background, with Nine shareholders ending up with just over 51% of the company.

Nine pioneered free-to-air-television in the 1950s in Australia and Fairfax traces its origins as a newspaper business back 177 years.

Earlier, when announcing the merger, Hywood said: “We are confident that the strength of the combined management team and staff will ensure the continuation of our quality journalism.”

Nine CEO Hugh Marks says the media landscape has changed and the merger brings scale, positioning the combined business as Australia’s largest integrated media player.

“We have quality premium Australian content that consumers want to engage with,” he says.

“Both companies have news at the core of our DNA.”

He indicated some merging of news operations, saying: “They will become one news business.”

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