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Nine Network and Fairfax Media to merge in $4-billion deal

Macquarie National News

The Nine Network has announced it intends to merge with Fairfax Media in a multi-billion dollar deal.

A press release titled ‘Merger of Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media’ was released to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning.

The proposed $4-billion deal would see brands such as the Sydney Morning Herald, 9Now and Domain come under the one umbrella.

The merger would also take into account radio interests, with Fairfax Media being the majority owner of Macquarie Media, which owns radio stations 2GB (Sydney), 4BC (Brisbane) and 3AW (Melbourne).

If the deal is approved by shareholders, Nine will own 51.1 per cent of the combined entity, with Fairfax shareholders owning the remaining 48.9 per cent.

The directors of Fairfax will unanimously recommend it’s shareholders vote in favour.

Nine CEO Hugh Marks will lead the new company, which will be called Nine.

According to Macquarie Radio Finance Editor Ross Greenwood, three current Fairfax directors will be invited to join the board of the combined business, which will be chaired by current Nine chairman Peter Costello.

Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield tells Ben Fordham he’s hopeful the merger will mean “strong Australian media voices” are heard “into the future”.

“What we want to see is Australian media organisations survive.

“When they survive, they can continue to employ Australian journalists and they can continue to create Australian content so we can hear our stories.”

Minister Fifield says the “greatest threat” facing media diversity in Australia is the failure of our media organisations.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview with Communications Minister Mitch Fifield

Ray Hadley has assured listeners, despite the major merger, it’ll be business as usual.

“To listeners who may read about this, what does it mean? Absolutely nothing to us. We continue as we continued in the past.

“It will make not one bit of difference to the way we present our programs and do anything else.”

Click PLAY below to hear from Ray Hadley 

Macquarie National News
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