Les goes shopping across strait

Blenheim-based independent publisher Les Whiteside has bought four Wellington community newspapers from APN New Zealand Media.

The sale was announced today by APN New Zealand chief executive Martin Simons.

The titles, forming the CityLife group, are the Independent Herald, Cook Strait News, Porirua News and Wainuiomata News, trading as Capital Community Newspapers.

Mr Whiteside said he was thrilled to be getting involved with the Wellington community newspapers.

He has been involved in newspapeprs for nearly 40 years and owns and publishes the Blenheim Sun. 

Mr Simons said the majority of the group's 15 staff would be offered employment by the new owner, which would trade under the name Wellington Suburban Newspapers Ltd.

"The titles have strong relationships with their suburbs and we hope the new owner can continue to provide this connection for many years to come."

The sale does not include Kapiti News, in Paraparaumu, which is part of the CCN group.  

This weekly newspaper will be joined with The Chronicle (Levin), The Guardian (Palmerston North) and Stratford Press in a community newspaper group attached to APN's daily Wanganui Chronicle.

The Wellington titles were offered for sale late last year by APN, which is also negotiating the sale of its South Island newspapers - The Star, Christchurch, and the Oamaru Mail. A

PN's major daily publication is the New Zealand Herald, based in Auckland.

The Marlborough Express