Fairfax pays $35 million for half of The Weekly Review

Media giant Fairfax has paid $35 million to acquire a 50% share in Antony Catalano’s Metro Media Publishing business, publisher of Melbourne real estate advertising vehicle The Weekly Review.

As part of the deal Fairfax will merge its 32-masthead strong Fairfax Community Network papers – which competed directly with The Weekly Review for real estate advertising dollars – into MMP.

Catalano will remain as managing director and chief executive of MMP while both parties have committed to improving the suite of products available to real estate agents.

Catalano launched The Weekly Review in April 2010 in partnership with a number of real estate agencies after serving out a non-compete period following his departure from the position of advertising director at The Age.

The glossy magazine took about $20 million in real estate advertising from Fairfax when it started being distributed to home owners in Melbourne’s wealthy eastern suburbs.

Fairfax acquired 50% of MMP by purchasing equity stakes from some existing MMP shareholders.

Catalano has a private stake alongside real estate agents – Kay & Burton, Jellis Craig, Marshall White and Bennison Mackinnon, plus several others.

According to Crikey, the editorial functions of The Weekly Review will remain the same, with staff continuing to be housed in its South Melbourne headquarters.

Fairfax Community Network papers have a weekly circulation of 1.25 million households while The Weekly Review is distributed to 220,000 households.

The Weekly Review's coverage extends from Melbourne's affluent bayside suburbs to middle Camberwell and also -- via a separate edition -- to the Heidelberg and Ivanhoe "green belt".

Crikey notes that Catalano maintains good relations with Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood, who elevated him from The Age's newsroom floor in 2001 to oversee its advertising.

Hywood's son Tom works at The Weekly Review in an advertising role.

The merger is subject to approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

 

 

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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