After 22 years of hitting Nigeria’s news stands weekly, The News magazine has transformed into a largely online newspaper after falling advertising revenues.
The magazine will now be printed monthly, while resources are channeled into
feeding its online platform with fresh stories and breaking news, according to the management.
The transition to online media came barely three weeks after the magazine’s sister publication and evening newspaper, PM News, ended its print run.
Announcing the decision to jettison the weekly hard copy in the July 27th edition of the magazine, Bayo Onanuga, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, said that rising cost of printing over the past few years had failed to keep pace with revenue inflow.
“The transition to internet publishing has been informed by the rising costs of production and declining advertising income, which make the continuous production in print form, very unprofitable,” Mr. Onanuga wrote in the magazine.
Mr. Onanuga said his team would continue to serve its readers news reports as they break on the magazine’s website.
“We shall continue to publish exclusive investigative reports for which The News is nationally known.”
About three weeks ago, PM News, a popular evening paper in Lagos called it quits with the print edition citing huge shortfalls in advertising revenue.
The two publications owe most of their journalists between five and seven months salary.
“When PM News stopped publishing, they kept a few people and sacked the rest. Now they are going to to sack more people,” a former employee of the magazine told PREMIUM TIMES.
Kunle Ajibade, one of the founders of the magazine, described the management’s inability to pay salaries as “a very very painful thing”.
“Of course salaries will be paid,” Mr. Ajibade, Executive Editor of The News Magazine, said over the telephone on Saturday.
“This is a global problem. For 22 years, The News has been on the news stand. Even during our days of guerrilla journalism, nobody was owed. It is unheard of, but what can we do.
“Our own salaries have not been paid too.”
The News magazine is owned by Independent Communications Network Limited which also publishes PM News and Tempo magazine – both now online newspapers.
The magazine was founded in February 1993 by a team of respected Nigerian journalists including Dapo Olorunyomi, Sani Kabir, Idowu Obasa, Babafemi Ojudu, Mr. Ajibade, Seye Kehinde, and Mr. Onanuga.