Two South Island newspaper publishers are joining forces to launch a new weekly paper in Dunedin - the home turf of Allied Press newspapers the Otago Daily Times and The Star.
The new Dunedin paper is being launched early next year by Scene Media - a joint venture between Queenstown-based Mountain Scene and the Ashburton Guardian.
Allied Press has held a cosy near-monopoly in Dunedin for many years, and seems privately to be a little concerned about the upstart challenger.
The first major story about the new entrant was published in a Christchurch paper The Press, while Dunedin's local television station Channel 9 (also owned by Allied Press) was banned from running a story on Scene Media's venture.
Scene Media insist they're not aiming to go head-to-head with the ODT, but admit they are prepared for competitive tactics by Allied Press.
Two newspapers attempted to break into the Dunedin market in the mid-90's - Inside Otago and The Exchange - but both folded after coming under financial pressure, following aggressive behaviour by Allied Press.
It's understood companies who advertised in the rival newspapers were given stern warnings by Allied Press sales staff, who threatened to withdraw any discounted rates treatment, while offering generous advertising deals if companies switched back to the ODT.
Around twenty staff will be employed at the new paper, which is sure to be welcomed by Dunedin residents looking for an edgier and more challenging read.
* The Press: Newspaper set to enter Dunedin market
Posted at 9:04 pm