News Corp Rural: Brands combine for new rural division

The Weekly Times’ Ed Gannon and Nicola Bell to host weekly TV show

Ed Gannon

• New TV show launching on Sky News Business 6.30pm Thursdays
• Mediaweek TV show moving back to 2.30pm Thursdays

News Corp Australia is combining its network of rural newspapers and websites to create a new media unit – to be known as News Corp Rural.

The venture will see News Corp’s The Weekly Times join Tasmanian Country and Rural Weekly to form the new business arm.

News Corp Rural is promising to deliver Australia’s biggest, best and most comprehensive rural news service across both print and digital platforms for readers and clients.

In addition to the three united newspaper brands, News Corp Australia and Sky News will this week launch the nation’s first, and only, live agribusiness television program.

The Ag Show debuts on Sky News Business on Thursday February 1, at 6.30pm AEDT.

The timeslot was previously filled by Mediaweek’s Sky News Business program, which will now move back to its traditional timeslot of 2.30pm Thursdays.

Throughout 2018, the live half-hour weekly show will explore issues that matter to the farming community across the country.

The new program will be presented by The Weekly TimesEd Gannon and Nicola Bell, and feature a panel of experts each week.

The Ag Show marks a special coming of age for agriculture,” said Gannon, who is also the show’s editorial director.

“It will be the first time agribusiness issues and events can be covered live.”

Bell added: “We will have all the movers and shakers in agriculture, plus the best analysts to explain the important issues. From beef to blueberries, wool to walnuts, The Ag Show has agribusiness covered.”

Angelos Frangopoulos, CEO, Australian News Channel, said: “Whether it be Paul Murray Live in regional Queensland or our comprehensive coverage on Sky News Weather, Sky News has a strong commitment to Regional Australia.

“We’re proud to be joining forces with our sister brands to bring agribusiness news and analysis to Australians.”

The Weekly Times, Tasmanian Country and Rural Weekly have a combined print reach of 484,000 readers per week and a combined digital audience of 286,616 unique browsers per month.

“The agriculture sector grew by 23% in 2016-17 – the largest of any of Australia’s 19 industries,” Gannon said.

He added the creation of News Corp Rural would improve crossplatform sales by enabling clients to tap into the company’s full suite of print and digital resources.

Under the News Corp Rural umbrella, Tasmanian Country will continue as a free posted edition, and the footprint of Rural Weekly will increase with the introduction of an expanded Northern NSW edition available south to Tamworth.

Insertion of Rural Weekly into the Friday edition of NT News has already commenced.

The Ag Show will air live each Thursday at 6.30pm AEDT on Sky News Business. Sky News Business is Australia’s first and only 24-hour business channel available on Foxtel Channel 602.


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