Techzim is reliably informed that Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), the media company that owns the Daily News and other titles, has acquired The Financial Gazette, popularly known as just Fingaz.
Fingaz is one of Zimbabwe’s most iconic weekly papers and covers mostly business news via a newspaper and online presence.
Information that ANZ was acquiring Modus Publications (publishers of Fingaz ) has been circulating in the media industry for a number of months now, but was not concrete.
Yesterday however, the Daily News published an article revealing what looks like a merger of ANZ and Modus Publications. Said the article:
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) — publishers of the Daily News, the Daily News on Sunday and the Weekend Post has made two key executive appointments.
Sharon Samushonga, who was group chief operating officer (COO), becomes managing director with effect from May 1, 2017.
Jacob Chisese, who was previously chief executive at Modus Publications – publishers of the iconic Financial Gazette, which is also famously known as the Pink Paper – succeeds Samushonga as COO.
In an announcement yesterday, ANZ chairman Professor Norman Nyazema said the two key appointments had been necessitated by the need to augment the company’s management corps as the business continued to grow.
“We are delighted for Sharon and Jacob, both of them consummate newspaper managers, as they assume these two critical positions at this exciting point in the history of our company,”; he said.
It’s strange that they wouldn’t just announce the acquisition. We called ANZ 3 times yesterday to get a comment from the company’s new MD, Sharon Samushonga, and on 2 occasions her PA promised to call back but never did.
We however managed to speak to someone at the company who told us that though he couldn’t say which company had acquired the other, “we are now essentially one”.
Last year, a report in the media suggested that Gideon Gono, the owner of Modus Publications, was selling the company, apparently to focus on other businesses.
Gono’s era at Fingaz was characterised by an in-the-middle editorial policy. The Daily News on the other hand has a politics focus and doesn’t shy away from being very critical of government especially, and politicians in general. It will be interesting what editorial slant changes happen at Fingaz over time as a result of the acquisition.
Editorial aside, onwards, Samushonga has the huge task of ensuring this bigger news company survives the internet. The internet has disrupted many aspects of traditional publishing business model. WhatsApp and Facebook specifically have become the major platforms for news consumption and this change will only accelerate in the future.
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