Media24 sells its media in KZN to Capital Newspapers

Media24 is selling its media in KwaZulu-Natal to Capital Newspapers for an undisclosed amount. The sale includes The Witness, Weekend Witness and two community newspapers, Echo and the Greytown Gazette.

Ishmet Davidson, CEO of Media24, said in a press release announcing the sale that the transaction is part of the consolidation process the company embarked on three years ago to reshape Media24 in a landscape that is increasingly digital.

Capital Newspapers confirmed the sale on its web page, saying ownership of South Africa’s oldest continuously published daily newspaper, The Witness, is returning to Pietermaritzburg with Media24 agreeing to sell the title and some of their inland KwaZulu-Natal community newspapers to Capital Newspapers.

ALSO READ: Media24 looks to shut down or merge numerous publications

Media24 acquired a 50% share in what was then called The Natal Witness Printing and Publishing Company in 2000 and bought the remaining shares from the Craib family who owned the now 176-year-old newspaper, ten years later.

Riquadeu Jacobs, managing director of Capital Newspapers, said over the course of its history, The Witness made an indelible contribution to our current democracy.

“Its fierce independence and tenacity in holding power to account has been the hallmark of great journalism that earned the newspaper national acclaim.”

He said Capital Newspapers is looking forward to its role and contribution as publishers in shaping a future for The Witness that appeals to a cosmopolitan, upwardly mobile audience in digital and print formats.

According to the press release, the transaction is expected to be concluded and the business transferred to Capital Newspapers by 1 July 2022, including the vast majority of staff members currently employed. The release also stated that Davidson is not available for interviews or comment.

Capital Newspapers currently owns six newspapers in the Pietermaritzburg and Midlands area.

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