It’s ‘game on’ in Queensland’s lucrative Sunshine Coast, as News Limited bids for a greater share of the fast-growing region.
Two new Quest community frees, the ‘Maroochy Journal’ and ‘Caloundra Journal’ launch against APN News & Media’s ‘Weekly’ titles and the flagship ‘Sunshine Coast Daily’ on November 5.
The two aim to extend the Quest foothold established when News bought the ‘Noosa Journal’ in 2006 from founder Lindsay Bock, who established it in 1999. News says it will now cover the area from Noosa in the north, Pelican Waters in the south and Maleny in the west.
The new papers are likely to be printed on the all-colour KBA Comet pressline at the Gold Coast Bulletin’ print site in Molendinar, flat-wrapped and delivered with a magazine and glossy property section.
APN itself launched a new title, the ‘Kawana Weekly’ in the prosperous canalside suburb last month.
The announcement sparks speculation that APN – which now teams with Fairfax Media in some online classified markets – will retaliate in Brisbane, where a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ is thought to have existed that APN would not tackle News’ ‘Courier-Mail’ heartland if it left the Sunshine Coast alone.
News was required to divest the string of titles which forms the basis of APN's Australian newspaper business when it bought the Hrald & Weekly Times in 1987.
Fairfax had launched the online-only ‘brisbanetimes’ in the city, teasing the market with the occasional print special, produced at its new plant in Ormiston. Fairfax and APN have discreetly kept off each others’ toes in the area since the sale of Rural Press’s ‘Gympie Times’ outpost.
In the package of titles at the time was the ‘Noosa Citizen’… also founded by Bock.