The future of the AAP newswire is assured with the inking of a sale to new owners who say they are driven by a desire to retain Australian media diversity, reports the newswire in a story outgoing shareholder Nine newspapers carry today.
A consortium of philanthropists and investors on Monday finalised a deal with current shareholders, including Nine and News Corp, to purchase Australian Associated Press which has been operating for more than 85 years.
The consortium, led by Nick Harrington, is made up of a number of people including philanthropist John McKinnon, and has been supported by senior media executive Peter Tonagh.
The new-look AAP, directed by CEO Emma Cowdroy and editor Andrew Drummond, will continue to produce content including breaking and world news, sport, court and political reporting, plus photography and a FactCheck service.
The new owners have committed to retain scores of the current AAP workforce, but there will be job losses. Changes to the business are expected to be finalised ahead of settlement on July 31.
Cowdroy, who has previously worked as AAP’s senior legal counsel, championed news of the sale.
“This is not only great news, but it’s vital for our democracy, as public-interest journalism is more important than ever,” she said.
Other parts of the AAP Group will be retained by the current shareholders. This includes Medianet, Mediaverse, AAP Directories, Pagemasters and Racing operations.