APN NZ rebrands under NZME.

APN New Zealand has relaunched as NZME., bringing together APN’s stable of newspapers including the New Zealand Herald as well as its assets The Radio Network (TRN) and e-commerce site GrabOne under the one name.

The new branding (pronounced N-Zed-Me) appears to be a further step towards a public offering for the company.

The company has been consulting shareholders and banks since APN News and Media chief executive Michael Miller announced it was considering an initial public offering of the NZ arm on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in early September.

The new name was conceived by the executive team, chief executive Jane Hastings said.

“It started with New Zealand Media and we added in Entertainment because we [will be] providing significant entertainment opportunities with our iHeartRadio concerts and events such as Mood of the Boardroom, Pride of New Zealand and Viva events,” she explained.

A video promoting the relaunch describes it as “Getting closer to what new Zealanders want, keeping the great brands that people know and love and bringing them together under one name.”

NZME. will replace the names APN and TRN, but Ms Hastings confirmed individual brands including GrabOne, APN’s stable of newspapers  and radio stations would retain their names under the move.

She told the New Zealand Herald it would bring all the platforms together as the “preferred news, sport and entertainment destination for New Zealanders” and that the “ME” in the name represented the company’s focus on its consumers.

NZME. brands would be divided into News, Sports and Entertainment, with each category reaching a monthly audience of 2.2 million, 1.1 million and 2.7 million respectively, with a combined weekly reach of 2.9 million New Zealanders each week.

Ms Hastings said uniting the brands more tightly would also benefit advertisers. She said that up until now the entities had been seen as a publishing business, a radio business and an e-commerce business. “But clients don’t come to us and say ‘I want to buy publishing’. They say: ‘I have a brand, this is the audience I’m after. How can you connect my brand with that audience?’”

Chief executive Jane Hastings said that the timing of any IPO had yet to be determined but confirmed that APN had retained Grant Samuel to assist in the process.

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