The strategy that just might save print media

Fairfax and APN are in talks to partner up on newspaper printing.

a woman

For today, at least, the news is news. Fairfax Media (ASX: FXJ) and APN News and Media (ASX: APN) are considering a joint venture to capture economies of scale and cut costly New Zealand printing expenditures.

The Australian Financial Review reported today that the two companies, which outweigh all other competitors in New Zealand newspapers, are in preliminary talks to partner up their printing presses.

APN Chief Executive Brett Chenoweth told The Australian: “The industry is changing. In a digital world it makes sense for media companies to look at infrastructure-light business models. We need to focus on content, editorial, sales and marketing through a range of different platforms. ”

While APN is best known in Kiwi land for The New Zealand Herald, the company also pushes out seven regional daily newspapers and  over 40 local papers. Fairfax churns out nine dailies and more than 60 community papers in the country.

Although the two companies are chatting, The Australian Financial Review reports that the businesses have different ideas of where the collaboration could end up. While APN is most interested in a merger or asset-sharing agreement for printing in New Zealand, Fairfax seems more keen to expand the idea to regional Australia.

Foolish takeaway

Fairfax and APN shares have fallen 24% and 31%, respectively, over the past year. As Chenoweth has stated, the media industry is undergoing massive changes, and everyone needs to adapt. Partnerships such as this would’ve been unthinkable during the heyday of daily newspapers, but smart companies are adopting clever tactics to stay afloat.

According to the Business Spectator, APN has also been considering joint venture ideas with News Corp Australia (ASX: NWS). A printing arrangement between The Daily Telegraph and The Times in Great Britain provides precedent for a possible partnership.

It’s too early for investors to know what will come of these talks, but we can at least acknowledge that it’s not too late for strategic positioning to keep these companies pulling profits.

While media companies are innovating just to survive, other corporations are innovating to pull more profit than ever before. Get “3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom” in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for our three favourite income ideas, all completely free!

More reading

Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.

Wondering where you should invest $1,000 right now?

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes could be the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at near dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they could be great buys right now.

*Returns as of August 16th 2021

More on ⏸️ Investing