National Library of Australia

Press timeline

Select chronology of significant Australian press events to 2011

Compiled by Rod Kirkpatrick for the Australian Newspaper History Group

1951-2011

1951 - 1960

Year Date Details
1951 16 Aug Australian Financial Review launched as a weekly newspaper.
1952 8 Feb First issue of Northern Territory News, Darwin, began as a weekly.
1952 28 July First use of colour news photography in Argus, Melbourne. Claimed to be first time that a newspaper anywhere in the world had produced an action news photograph in colour within hours of the event.
1952 18 Aug John Fairfax sells its interest in Woman’s Day and Home to The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd.
1952 4-5 Oct Death of Sir Keith Murdoch, managing director of the Herald and Weekly Times Ltd and father of Rupert Murdoch.
1953 1 Jan John Pringle appointed editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.
1953 17 June Kalgoorlie Miner is the last daily newspaper in Australia to make Page 1 its main news page.
1953 Aug John Fairfax & Sons Pty Ltd acquires interest in Associated Newspapers Ltd (publishers of The Sun).
1953 Sept Rupert Murdoch flies home to take up his small newspaper inheritance.
1953 11 Oct

Sydney Sun-Herald results from merger of the broadsheet Sunday Herald and the tabloid Sunday Sun.

1953 24 Oct First issue of Sunday Advertiser, Adelaide.
1955 11 July First issue of Darling Downs Star, Toowoomba, a daily competing against the long-established Toowoomba Chronicle.
1955 21-22 Dec John Fairfax and Sons moves (from Hunter Street) into new buildings at Broadway, Sydney.
1956 9 April John Fairfax Ltd incorporated as a public company.
1956 11 June Canberra Times converts from broadsheet to tabloid format.
1956 6 Sept TCN Channel 9 (owned ultimately by Sir Frank Packer, proprietor of the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and the Australian Women’s Weekly) begins television transmission in Sydney.
1956 2 Dec ATN Channel 7 (owned by John Fairfax) begins television transmission in Sydney.
1957 19 Jan Final issue of the Argus, Melbourne, published since 1846. Herald & Weekly Times Ltd plans to continue all the remaining activities of the Argus company by an allotment of £350,000 of shares.
1957 9 Sept Dubbo Liberal, New South Wales, becomes a daily.
1957   First use of tape to operate line-casting machines at Fairfax’s Broadway plant.
1958 23 May Angus Maude appointed editor of Sydney Morning Herald.
1958 20 Nov Sydney’s Mirror group bought from Ezra Norton by O’Connell Pty Ltd, financed by John Fairfax.
1959 July Toowoomba furniture retailer, J. Rowe Pty Ltd, takes over the Darling Downs Star.
1959 10 Oct First 80-page ordinary issue of the Sydney Morning Herald.
1959 8 Nov First issue of Newcastle’s Sunday Mirror; publishes four issues.
1960 Feb Rupert Murdoch makes first move into Sydney, acquiring Cumberland Newspapers Pty Ltd, a chain of 24 suburban titles.
1960   In response to Murdoch’s purchase of Cumberland, John Fairfax and Consolidated Press establish Suburban Publications Pty Ltd.
1960 20 May Rupert Murdoch buys Daily Mirror, Sydney, from O’Connell Pty Ltd (Fairfax).
1960   Sir Frank Packer’s Consolidated Press acquires the Maitland Mercury.

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1961 - 1970

Year Date Details
1961 4 Jan W.O. Fairfax resigns from the chairmanship of John Fairfax Ltd.
1961 11 March W.O. Fairfax re-appointed chairman of John Fairfax Ltd.
1961 30 Sept John Fairfax acquires 45 per cent interest in Newcastle Newspapers Pty Ltd, publisher of Newcastle Morning Herald and Newcastle Sun.
1961 24 Oct The weekly Australian Financial Review becomes a bi-weekly.
1963 1 April Western Advocate, Bathurst, results from amalgamation of the Western Times and the National Advocate, both dailies.
1963 21 Oct Australian Financial Review becomes a daily.
1964 10 Feb Northern Territory News, Darwin, becomes a daily; published on weekday afternoons (see 1968 and 1991)
1964 30 April John Fairfax acquires Federal Capital Press of Australia Pty Ltd, publisher of Canberra Times.
1964 1 July Canberra Times converts from tabloid to broadsheet, shifting the printing to Fairfax's newly installed press at Fyshwick.
1964 15 July News Ltd launches the Australian.
1966 13 Dec John Fairfax acquires interest in David Syme & Co Ltd, publisher of the Age.
1968 7 May The Australian is now printed in Brisbane.
1967   First production computer installed at Broadway (Sydney) plant of the John Fairfax group.
1968/69   The Maxwell Newton South Coast newspaper purchases begin, especially two at Nowra.
1968 15 April Northern Territory News changes from afternoon to morning daily (see 1964 and 1991).
1968 mid The Australian is now printed in Adelaide.
1969 27 April First issue of the Independent, a Perth Sunday newspaper; published to December 1970 under that title and then 1971-1986 as Sunday Independent.
1969 1 Sept Area News, Griffith, bi-weekly, and Riverina Advocate, Griffith, weekly, merge to become the Riverina Daily News (morning daily), the first NSW regional daily printed on a web offset press.
1969 Sept John Fairfax acquires South Coast Times Pty Ltd, publisher of Illawarra Mercury, Wollongong.
1969 30 Sept David Syme launches evening daily, Newsday, in Melbourne to compete directly with the Herald.
1969 12 Nov Fairfax launches a daily afternoon paper in the national capital, the Canberra News.
1969 23 Dec Sir Warwick Fairfax is appointed a committee of one at John Fairfax, with all the administrative and management powers exercisable by the directors under the Articles of Association, subject to the overriding authority of the board.
1970 14 Feb First 128-page issue of the Sydney Morning Herald.
1970 3 March First issue of Southern Riverina News, Finley, NSW; results from merger of Finley Mail, Berrigan Advocate and Tocumwal Guardian.
1970 3 May David Syme’s Melbourne evening newspaper Newsday ceases publication after seven months; it cost Syme $3 million and 67 journalists their jobs.
1970 1 July G.E.W. Harriott is appointed editor of Sydney Morning Herald.
1970 11 Sept The John Fairfax group acquires 25 per cent of Land Newspaper Ltd. (forerunner of Rural Press Ltd).
1969 14 Sept First issue of Sunday Observer, published till 7 March 1971; succeeded by Melbourne Observer and later a new Sunday Observer.
1970 11 Oct First issue of Sunday Review, forerunner of the Review and Nation Review.
1970 2 Dec Final issue of the Independent, Perth Sunday newspaper under that title. Continues from 3 January 1971 as the Sunday Independent.

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1971 - 1980

Year Date Details
1971 3 Jan First issue of Sunday Independent, Perth; continues the Independent.
1971 18 Jan Sydney Morning Herald leader page moves from Page 2 to 6.
1971 6 Feb Final issue of Riverina Daily News, Griffith, NSW, as a morning daily (estab. 1969).
1971 7 Feb Fairfax launches weekly National Times.
1971 8 Feb First issue of Riverina Daily News, Griffith, as an evening daily.
1971 28 Feb First issue of Sunday Australian.
1971 21 March First issue of Melbourne Observer, a weekly that later became the Sunday Observer.
1971 2 July Closure of Riverina Daily News (evening); reverts to tri-weekly issue as Area News. Mon/Wed/Fri.
1971 9 July Sunday Review ceases; becomes the Review from 16 July.
1971 16 July First issue of the Review, formerly the Sunday Review.
1972 4 June Sir Frank Packer sells the mastheads of the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs to Rupert Murdoch for $15 million.
1972 4 June Sunday Australian ceases; Rupert Murdoch incorporates it in his newly acquired Sunday Telegraph from 11 June.
1972 June Fairfax increases holding in Syme to more than 50 per cent, making Syme a subsidiary but Fairfax/Syme partnership agreement remains.
1972 3 July John Fairfax increases its interest in David Syme (principally The Age, Melbourne) to more than 50 per cent.
1972 3 July News, Shepparton, Vic., becomes an afternoon daily, stepping up from tri-weekly issue.
1972 29 July First issue of Nation Review; formed by amalgamation of Nation and The Review. Published in Melbourne; later Sydney.
1973   Rupert Murdoch enters United States markets, buying San Antonio Express and News, Texas.
1973 12 Aug First issue of Sunday Observer, Melbourne, formerly the Melbourne Observer.
1973 9 Sept First issue of Melbourne Sunday Press, later the Sunday Press.
1973 10 Oct First issue of Independent Sun, daily, Perth, published by Sunday Independent; ceased 8 November 1973 .
1974 1 May Death of Sir Frank Packer, former owner of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, Sydney.
1973 16-22 Oct First issue of Living Daylights, weekly; ceased April 1974; incorporated in Nation Review.
1974 3 May Nation Review incorporates the Living Daylights.
1974 12 May Sunday Press is new title for former Melbourne Sunday Press, which appeared until 5 May 1974.
1974 19 July John Fairfax group closes the evening Canberra News (estab. 1969).
1974 10 Sept Central Coast Express, Gosford, becomes a daily, issued Tuesday to Saturday.
1974 27 Nov Barrier Miner, published daily since 1888, ceases publication.
1975 3 Feb Northern Territory News changes to afternoon (daily) publication.
1975 8 Dec Journalists employed by Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd in Sydney strike for 24 hours in protest at a “very deliberate and blatant bias” in the presentation of news during the election campaign following the dismissal of the Whitlam government.
1976 1 July The Australian Press Council is established. Retired High Court judge Sir Frank Kitto is the first chair.
1977 1 March James Fairfax succeeds his father, Sir Warwick Fairfax, as chairman of the John Fairfax group.
1977 2-3 July First issue of Weekend Australian, a distinctively titled weekend edition of the weekday Australian.
1977 3 Aug Mr Justice Cahill’s judgment is handed down on demarcation of visual display terminals.
1977 17 Dec Final issue of Central Coast Express, Gosford, NSW, as a daily.
1978 7 April John Fairfax acquires full ownership of Newcastle Newspapers Pty Ltd.
1978 28 May First Sunday issue of the Canberra Times.
1978 22 June Closure of Nation Review under Gordon Barton’s ownership.
1979 7 Oct Final issue of Sunday, formerly Sunday Mirror (and Truth).
1979 10 Oct First issue of Newcastle Star as free weekly; established by Michael Wansey, former part-proprietor of Newcastle Morning Herald and Sun.
1979 11 Oct Nation Review ceases publication, its circulation having dipped to 15,000 compared with 54,000 in 1973. Resumed publication in 1980 in magazine format, eventually ceasing September 1981.
1979 19 Nov Final commitment by Australian Newsprint Mills to build a newsprint mill at Albury.
1979 Nov Rupert Murdoch makes a $125 million takeover bid for the Herald & Weekly Times Ltd, but withdraws with a profit after John Fairfax takes a 14.9 per cent stake in HWT for $50 million.
1980 16 April First issue of Young Guardian, NSW.
1980 6 June First issue of Newcastle Clarion, published during national journalists’ strike.
1980 4 July Closure of afternoon daily Newcastle Sun.
1980 7 July First issue of Sunshine Coast Daily, Maroochydore, Qld.
1980 8 Nov First issue of Western Mail, Perth, a Sunday paper.

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1981 - 2000

Year Date Details
1981 1 Jan First issue of Times Regional Newspaper, Deniliquin, NSW.
1981 24 Feb First issue of Tamworth Times; weekly.
1981 Sept First issue of Newcastle Post – after the Newcastle Herald acquired a 49pc interest in Lake Macquarie Post, a free weekly.
1980 6 Oct The 104-year-old title, the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, is shortened to the Newcastle Herald.
1982 Jan Maryborough Chronicle, Maryborough, becomes the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Chronicle.
1982 2 Aug First issue of B First issue of the Daily Sun, launched by Rupert Murdoch in direct competition with the morning Courier-Mail.
1984 27 Jan News Ltd. takes over the North Queensland Newspaper Co. Ltd (flagship: Townsville Bulletin).
1984 9 May First issue of the Northern Leader, Bowen. Tri-weekly. Founder: Asher Joel Media group.
1984 24 Sept Daily Liberal, Dubbo, shifts from evening to morning publication.
1984 6 Oct First issue of Good Weekend, Australia's first newspaper colour magazine insert; inserted initially in the Saturday issue of the Sydney Morning Herald, it became an insert in the Melbourne Age, too, 11 months later.
1985 14 Feb Bombala Times (NSW) is the last Australian newspaper to make Page 1 its main news page.
1985 31 May Final issue of Northern Leader, Bowen. Survived 13 months.
1986 1 Jan News Ltd., via North Queensland Newspaper Co., takes over Bowen Independent from Darwen family.
1986 24-25 May Final issue of Sunday Independent in Perth.
1986 1 July Cairns Post converts from broadsheet to tabloid.
1986 30 Sept Lithgow Mercury ceases daily issue and becomes a tri-weekly from the first issue in October.
1986 3 Dec Rupert Murdoch launches takeover bid for Herald & Weekly Times Ltd.
1986 20 Dec The Herald, Melbourne, publishes its final Saturday issue (it was Australia’s last Saturday evening paper).
1987 14 Jan Death of Sir Warwick Fairfax, former chair of John Fairfax group.
1987 6 Feb Rupert Murdoch wins fight to take over Herald & Weekly Times Ltd.
1987 24 April Canberra Times' new editorial and office complex at Fyshwick officially opened after move from Braddon site occupied for 60 years.
1987 6 July First issue of Business Daily, weekly national business newspaper.
1987 7 Aug Northern Star Holdings announces it will sell titles of Brisbane Daily Sun and Sunday Sun and Adelaide News to the managements in each city, who will buy with help from Westfield, Northern Star’s parent. News Corporation will still print and distribute its competitor.
1987 18 Aug Business Daily closes.
1987 31 Aug Warwick Fairfax, 26-year-old son of Sir Warwick and Lady Mary, launches takeover bid for Fairfax media empire.
1987 Sept Kerry Packer buys Canberra Times from Fairfax.
1987 12 Oct Goulburn Evening Post shifts from evening to morning publication and drops Evening from title.
1987 1 Nov APN buys Chinchilla News, Qld, from David and Dorothy Fuller.
1987 7 Dec Warwick Fairfax jun. formally takes over as proprietor of Fairfax. Chairman James Fairfax, deputy chairman John B. Fairfax and rest of board resign.
1988 2 Jan Final issue of Perth’s Western Mail, a Sunday paper. Losses over seven years estimated at $50 million.
1988 5 Feb Final issue of the Brisbane Telegraph (estab. 1872).
1988 15 Feb Brisbane Daily Sun shifts to afternoon slot vacated by Telegraph on 5 February; changes title to Sun.
1988 13 Mar Final issue of Times on Sunday, formerly National Times (estab. 1971).
1988 14 Mar Final issue of Sydney’s Sun (estab. 1910).
1988 26 July O’Reilly family trust takes over Provincial Newspapers (Qld) Ltd.
1988 13 Aug Haswell Pty Ltd’s takeover offer for Provincial Newspapers (Qld) Ltd expires.
1988 8 Sept Mornington Mail, Vic., established.
1988 2 Nov Provincial Newspapers (Qld) Ltd becomes Australian Provincial Newspapers Ltd (APN).
1989 3 Mar Haswell sacks senior Provincial Newspapers (Qld) Ltd staff from pre-takeover days; the Irish are firmly in control of APN.
1989 5 June Maitland Mercury, NSW, shifts from afternoon to morning daily publication.
1989 11 June Final issue of Sunday Observer, Melbourne.
1989 3 July Kerry Stokes buys Canberra Times from Kerry Packer.
1989 13 Aug Closure of Melbourne Sunday Press (joint publication of Herald & Weekly Times and David Syme & Co).
1989 20 Aug First editions of Melbourne Sunday Herald, Sunday Sun News-Pictorial and Sunday Age.
1990 6 Aug Shepparton News switches to morning issue after publishing as an afternoon daily since 3 July 1972; the last of Australia’s provincial afternoon dailies.
1990 11 Sept Closure of Perth Daily News (estab. 1882).
1990 5 Oct Closure of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph (estab. 1879) and Daily Mirror (1941), and Melbourne Sun News-Pictorial (1922) and Herald (1840).
1990 8 Oct Birth of “24-hour” newspapers to replace the above: Sydney Daily Telegraph-Mirror and Melbourne Herald-Sun.
1991   Protracted battle throughout the year for the John Fairfax newspaper empire, which was in receivership.
1991 31 Mar Closure of the Melbourne Sunday Herald (estab. 1989) and Sunday Sun News-Pictorial (1989); replaced by Sunday Herald Sun.
1991 29 July Northern Territory News shifts from afternoon to morning daily issue.
1991 10 Dec Closure of the Brisbane Sun (afternooner since February 1988, morning 1982-1988).
1991 15 Dec Conrad Black’s Tourang wins control of Fairfax empire.
1992 25 Mar Release of News & Fair Facts, report of the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Print Media.
1992 27 Mar Closure of the News, Adelaide (estab. 1923) last afternoon newspaper in Australia.
1992 29 Mar Brisbane Sunday Mail goes tabloid.
1992 14 April Closure of Brisbane Sunday Sun announced. Sunday Telegraph and Sun-Herald commence publishing south-east Queensland editions.
1992 14 June First issue of Sunday, launched by the APN-owned Sunshine Newspaper Company daily.
1993 15 Feb Hobart Mercury converts from broadsheet to tabloid format.
1993 9 Oct First edition of Brisbane Weekend Times (80c). Proprietor Michael Hawke sold the (free) City News to Rupert Murdoch reportedly for $1.5 million.
1993 20 Nov Brisbane Weekend Times ceases.
1993 22 Dec APN takes over Peter Isaacson Publications, Melbourne, publisher of more than 40 titles including the Daily Commercial News.
1994 8 May Closure of south-east Queensland edition of Sunday Telegraph.
1995 July Closure of Sydney News and Gold Coast News, both weekly lifestyle and real-estate colour magazines.
1994 15 May Closure of south-east Queensland edition of Sun-Herald.
1995 11 Dec Rural Press pays $68.9 million to acquire the Bathurst Western Advocate, Orange Central Western Daily, Dubbo Daily Liberal, Goulburn Post and other Macquarie Publications newspaper properties.
1996 2 Jan Sydney Daily Telegraph-Mirror reverts to title of Daily Telegraph.
1996 4 Nov Goulburn Post, a daily since 1927, reverts to tri-weekly issue.
1997 14 Mar First issue of national weekly, the Republican.
1997 29 June Sunday Canberra Times renamed Sunday Times.
1997 16 Aug First issue of the Good Weekend (Saturday Sydney Morning Herald and Age insert) in enlarged format.
1997 29 Aug Closure of the Republican.
1997 6 Sept First Saturday edition of Australian Financial Review.
1997 14 Sept Introduction of Sunday magazine into Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Herald-Sun and Sunday Life! Magazine into Sun-Herald and Sunday Age.
1997 27 Oct Townsville Bulletin’s new printing plant inaugurated and changes from broadsheet to tabloid.
1997 3 Nov Adelaide Advertiser changes from broadsheet to tabloid.
1998 10-13 April West Australian shifts headquarters from Forrest Centre, St George’s terrace, in Perth’s CBD, to newly built premises at Herdsman Lake, 8km to the north. The paper had been at Forrest Centre since 1987.
1998 27 April Redesign of Australian; price reduced in Victoria to 40c and increased elsewhere by 10c to $1; page of local news inserted in Melbourne edition.
1998 29 June Bendigo Advertiser changes from broadsheet to tabloid.
1998 27 July Newcastle Herald changes from broadsheet to tabloid.
1998 2 Sept Barossa & Light Herald, Tanunda, South Australia, becomes a free paper.
1998 23 Sept Rural Press acquires Canberra Times from Kerry Stokes for $160 million.
1998 1 Nov Newcastle Herald’s new printing plant at Beresfield is inaugurated.
1999 25 Mar Inaugural weekly “Media” liftout section appears in the Australian.
1999 21 June Border Mail, formerly based at Albury, NSW, opens for business at Wodonga, Vic., operating from new printing, editorial and business premises.
1999 28 June Fairfax announces $220 million new printing plant for Age and Financial Review to be built at Tullamarine, northwest Melbourne to come on line in 2001.
1999 30 June The 111-year Johnston dynasty ends at Riverine Grazier, Hay, NSW, with sale by the widowed Isabel Johnston before her second marriage.
1999 July News Ltd’s new Perth printing plant inaugurated, completing replacement of News’ printing plants in all State capitals; inauguration of full colour of Perth Sunday Times (25 July); inauguration of full colour of Perth edition of the Australian (completing colour printing in all editions) and page of local news in Perth edition.
1999 5 Aug Printing of Wollongong Illawarra Mercury transferred to Fairfax plant at Chullora, Sydney.
1999 6 Aug APN News & Media Ltd acquires Gympie Times from Rural Press Ltd.
1999 Oct First issue of Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter appears (No. 35 was December 2005).
1999 1 Nov Commencement of separate rural and national editions of the Age, with marketing of the national edition in Adelaide (sale at Victorian price of $1, and home delivery).
1999 8 Dec David Syme & Co announce company name change to The Age Co.
1999 12 Dec The longest-serving editor of an Australian metropolitan daily, Paul Murray of the West Australian, announces his resignation after ten years.
2000 24 Jan Sydney Daily Telegraph introduces layout changes.
2000 31 Jan Perth West Australian goes online (www.thewest.com.au), the last major metropolitan paper to take that action.
2000 22 Feb Formal commencement of work on Fairfax’s new printing plant in Melbourne.
2000 24 Mar Fairfax announces $70 million expansion for its Chullora printing plant in Sydney’s south-west.
2000 4 April Wilkie Watson family completes 100 years as owners of the Tumut & Adelong Times, New South Wales.
2000 7 April Brian Rogers, news director of Channel Nine, Perth, is appointed editor of West Australian, replacing Paul Murray who joined Radio 6PR.
2000 20 April The Eye ceases publication (Vol 2, No. 7). It had appeared fortnightly since October 1999.
2000 7 May The Canberra Times’s Sunday edition, the Sunday Times, becomes the Canberra (small print) Sunday Times (big print) and converts from broadsheet to tabloid.
2000 30 June Cameron O’Reilly quits as chief executive of APN News & Media Ltd to pursue private investment interests in Europe.
2000 1 July GST (Goods and Services Tax) implemented throughout Australia, lifting prices of newspapers.
2000 2 July First issue of the Southeast Asian Times, a broadsheet, in Darwin.
2000 24 Oct Robert Whitehead is named the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, replacing Paul McGeough.
2000 27 Nov Truth, Melbourne, placed in receivership.
2000 10 Dec Sydney Sun-Herald introduces a subscribers-only magazine.
2000 Christmas Rural Press Ltd. shifts its executives out of Kensington, in inner-Sydney, back to North Richmond, NSW.

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2001-2011

Year Date Details
2001 5 Feb Fairfax and News Ltd launch commuter papers in Melbourne: Melbourne Express and mX respectively (see ANHG Newsletter, item 11.2).
2001 10 Feb Weekend Australian introduces design changes (see ANHG, 11.11).
2001 26 Mar The Victorian cover price of the weekday Australian is restored to the national price of $1.10 (see ANHG, 12.8).
2001 29 Mar Final issue of Blackall Leader, Queensland (see ANHG, 12.31).
2001 18 April Sydney Morning Herald is 170 years old today (see ANHG, 12.49.13).
2001 29 April First issue of Ipswich on Sunday, a free newspaper published by the Queensland Times (see ANHG, 13.27).
2001 20 May The Sunday Advertiser, Geelong, established in September 2000, ceases publication with no warning (see ANHG, 10.15 and 13.24).
2001 21 May The Australian announces (p.3) it has revamped its website, theaustralian.com.au, offering summaries of each day’s news along with insights into what editor Michael Stutchbury and the reporters are working on for the next day’s edition.
2001 30 May The media empires of Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch are rocked by the collapse of cut-price mobile phone company One.Tel, exposing them to losses of up to $1 billion.
2001 25 June Total editorial production of the Kalgoorlie Miner, Western Australia’s only regional daily, returned to the Eastern Goldfields centre (see ANHG, 14.45).
2001 19 July Kerry Packer sells his 14.9 per cent interest in the Fairfax newspaper group (see ANHG, 14.2).
2001 23 July Daily Telegraph, Sydney, launches project to deliver more than 90,000 free books to schoolchildren through NSW and the ACT.
2001 6 Aug Entire edition of the Australian is available to download online.
2001 7 Sept Final issue of Melbourne Express, Fairfax’s Melbourne commuter paper that was launched on 5 February 2001 (see ANHG, 11.2).
2001 11 Sept Terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Centre and Pentagon in Washington: biggest news story in decades. Metropolitan dailies produce special editions on 12 September and cover aftermath widely during coming weeks (see ANHG, 15.58.1, 15.58.2 and 15.13)
2001 19 Sept Senate privileges committee finds the Australian in contempt over publication of a leaked Senate committee draft report (see ANHG, 15.20).
2001 31 Oct Moruya Examiner title resurrected on south coast of NSW (see ANHG, 15.50).
2001 12 Nov Woman’s Day, Australia’s biggest-selling weekly magazine, gets a facelift (issue of 19 Nov., available 12 Nov.); printed on a 20 per cent larger sheet (as deep as an A4 and 1.5cm wider), glossy paper.
2001 21 Nov First tabloid issue of Geelong Advertiser on 161st birthday.
2001 17 Dec Frank Devine’s final column appears in Australian (see ANHG, 16.6).
2001 21 Dec Herald Sun, Melbourne, a 24-hour paper since 8 October 1990, publishes its final afternoon edition (see ANHG, 16.11).
2002 25 Jan Australia’s final paid-circulation metropolitan afternoon newspaper edition is produced: the Daily Telegraph, Sydney, a 24-hour paper since 8 October 1990, publishes final afternoon edition (see ANHG, 16.11).
2002 2 Feb The Aussie Post magazine closes; estab. 1 October 1864 in Melbourne as Australasian; many changes of title and format over the years.
2002 27 Feb First issue of National Indigenous Times, established by Owen Carriage, founder 11 years ago of the Koori Mail (see ANHG, 17.2 and 17.63.5).
2002 March Final and biggest issue (300 pages) of Elle magazine, Australia.
2002 April Australian edition of Rolling Stone turns 30 this month.
2002 25 May In Perth, after more than 13 years as a broadsheet, the Big Weekend converts to a tabloid and changed its title to Weekend Extra. It began on 24 December 1988. An insert in the West Australian each Saturday, it carries features, travel articles, lifestyle hints and various columns.
2002 26 June New editor-in-chief announced for the Australian, Chris Mitchell, and a new editor for the Courier-Mail, David Fagan (see ANHG, 18.2).
2002 29 July WOW (or What’s On Weekly), the first magazine to challenge TV Week in more than 20 years, hits the news stands in Australia (see ANHG, 19.23).
2002 27 Sep First issue of 'Central Coast Extra' as an insert in the Daily Telegraph for Gosford-Wyong readers.
2002 28 Sep First issue of Fairfax's daily Central Coast Herald, Gosford-Wyong.
2002 30 Sep First issue of News Ltd's Central Coast Express Advocate as a free daily and first day of half-price Daily Telegraphs for Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter Valley readers (50c instead of $1). Full price restored from Feb 2003.
2002 Oct First issue of Melbourne magazine. Steve Harris is managing director and editor in chief and John Allan is publisher. Cover price is $8.95
2003 7 Jan Maitland Mercury, New South Wales, celebrates its 160th birthday (see ANHG, 21.26).
2003 1 Mar Australian Newspaper History Group holds one-day symposium at State Library of New South Wales to mark 200th anniversary, on 5 March, of publication of first issue of first Australian newspaper.
2003 5 Mar The 200th anniversary of the publication of the first Australian newspaper, the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser.
2003 12 Mar News Ltd launches monthly Sydney Live Magazine as pre-emptive strike against Fairfax’s Sydney Magazine, to begin 19 March.
2003 19 Mar First issue of Fairfax’s monthly Sydney Magazine, inserted in Sydney Morning Herald; some copies available for sale separately through newsagents.
2003 31 Mar Barnet family sells Bunyip, Gawler, South Australia, having owned it since William Barnet established it on 5 September 1863 (see ANHG, 22.28).
2003 2 June Central Coast Herald becomes simply the Herald (Central Coast) and the Newcastle Herald becomes the Herald (Newcastle and Hunter) to satisfy Audit Bureau of Circulations requirements.
2003 1 July South East Newspapers (SEN) launches three new weekly free Star editions in the suburbs of Melbourne to serve: Footscray, Yarraville; Williamstown, Altona, Laverton; and Werribee, Hoppers Crossing. These join the three Brimbank editions: Sunshine, Ardeer, Braybrook; St Albans, Deer Park, Caroline Springs; and Keilor, Taylors Lakes, Sydenham. Each Star now carries the North West Property Guide that SEN launched in March 2000.
2003 8 July City Chronicle, Canberra, begins – a city-centric edition of the Chronicle launched in 1981 by Federal Capital Press, publisher of the daily Canberra Times. The various Canberra Chronicles now have a distribution of 126,500. About 350 people now deliver the Chronicle to more than 90 per cent of homes in the ACT, Queanbeyan and surrounding region.
2003 24 Oct Central Coast Express Advocate, Gosford-Wyong, NSW, ceases to appear daily; appears four times a week from Tuesday, 28 October.
2003 17 Nov Illawarra Mercury introduces a new section called “Vibe” of articles about the Illawarra. This is not a separate section, but, in what is claimed to be a first for Australian newspapers, starts at the back of the paper, with the paper flipped the opposite way around.
2004 5 Feb Broadsheet “Media and Marketing” section begins in the Australian (see ANHG, 26.9). This section began as a tabloid liftout on 25 March 1999 (see ANHG, 4.8).
2004 6 April The News Corporation Ltd announces it will shift its primary stock exchange listing to Wall Street (see ANHG, 27.2).
2004 6 May Castlemaine Mail celebrates 150th birthday.
2004 12 June Final issue of Central Coast edition of the Newcastle-based Herald—the end of the Central Coast Herald publication which began 28 Sept 2002.
2004 5 July Hobart’s Mercury celebrates 150th birthday (see ANHG, 28.53).
2004 15 July Australian celebrates 40th birthday (see ANHG, 28.2, 28.60.28 and 28.60.32).
2004 31 July Australian begins publishing in its business section “The Financial Times International page”.
2004 18 Sept First Australian edition of British Financial Times printed in Sydney.
2004 19 Sept Fairfax’s Sunday Life magazine revamped (see ANHG, 30.6).
2004 19 Sept First issue of Independent Weekly, Adelaide; Sunday paper (see ANHG, 30.2).
2004 2 Oct First edition of Financial Review’s new glossy, quarterly magazine Life & Leisure The Sophisticated Traveller (see ANHG, 30.6).
2004 3 Oct First edition of APN’s Auckland Herald on Sunday (a 188 page, four section tabloid) in opposition to Fairfax NZ’s national Sunday titles
2004 15 Oct Melbourne Age commemorates its 150th anniversary.
2004 1 Nov London Times appears only in tabloid (compact) form for first time.
2004 13 Nov Sydney Morning Herald and Age include special 20th anniversary edition of Good Weekend magazine.
2005 6 Jan 150th birthday of the Ovens & Murray Advertiser, Beechworth.
2005 19 Jan Australian newspapers report the resignation of Mark Latham as Leader of the Federal Opposition and as a parliamentarian. He was the shortest serving Federal Leader of the Labor Party.
2005 4 July First issue of Sydney’s mX free daily commuter newspaper (see ANHG, 33.6).
2005 8 July Australian newspapers report the terrorist bombings that hit the London public transport system on 7 July.
2005 14 July First issue of Alpha, News Magazines’ sport/lifestyle title, with a million print run and 156 pages; home-delivered to more than 500,000 News Ltd newspaper subscribers; sold in newsagencies for $2 with a News Ltd paper.
2005 9 Aug Official opening of $17 million extension to the Canberra Times’ press facilities (see ANHG, 34.22).
2005 1-2 Oct First issue of Qweekend, the colour magazine that is to appear each Saturday with the Courier-Mail.
2005 7 Oct First issue of Wish magazine, a lifestyle magazine that appears on the first Friday of each month with the Australian; 88 pages.
2005 8 Oct 150th birthday of the Illawarra Mercury, Wollongong’s daily (see ANHG, 35.59.8).
2005 16 Oct First issue of Messenger Community Newspapers’ Adelaide Sunday suburban newspaper, the Northern Weekly.
2006 13 Mar Brisbane’s Courier-Mail changes from broadsheet to tabloid format (it liked to call it ‘compact’).
2006 14 Mar Communications Minister Helen Coonan issues discussion paper on overhaul of Australian media industry. Feedback is sought by 18 April.
2006 18 Apr Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s oldest newspaper, is 175 years old.
2006 1 Jul Thirtieth anniversary of formation of the Australian Press Council. Retired High Court judge Sir Frank Kitto was the first chair.
2006 July The Mott family dynasty at the Border Mail, Albury, ends with John Fairfax Holdings Ltd acquiring the daily established by the family in 1903.
2006 4 Sep UK Associated Newspapers announce the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday will be printed and distributed in Australia (from Guardian UK website).
2006 6 Sep First issue of the Australian Literary Review is published as a monthly tabloid insert in the Australian.
2006 3 Oct APN News & Media Ltd opens new Sunshine Coast production centre, at Yandina, and soon after closes Ipswich production centre, leaving five APN east-coast production centres: at Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Toowoomba (Qld), and Lismore (NSW).
2006 17 Oct Publishing & Broadcasting sells a half-share in its media assets for $4.5bn to PBL Media, which is half-owned by private equity firm, CVC Asia Pacific. [PBL’s media assets include the Nine Network and ACP Magazines.]
2006 18 Oct The successful passage of the new media laws through Federal Parliament is completed with the House of Representative passing them.
2006 18 Oct Seven Network completes the purchase of a 14.9 per cent strategic stake in West Australian Newspapers after taking an 8.4 per cent stake the previous evening.
2006 19 Oct News Corp pays $385m for a 7.5pc strategic stake in John Fairfax Holdings Ltd
2006 Oct Rural Press Ltd acquires daily North-West Star, Mount Isa, from Joel family which had established it in 1966.
2006 10 Nov John Fairfax Holdings Ltd officially changes its name to Fairfax Media Ltd
2006 20 Nov Seven Network secures $3.2 billion to build itself into one of Australia’s largest media companies after selling its TV, magazines and online businesses into a new group (Seven Media) that is jointly owned with private-equity firm KKR – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
2006 4 Dec Kerry Stokes’s Seven Network buys a small stake (less than 2 per cent) in Fairfax Media.
2006 6 Dec Fairfax Media Ltd and Rural Press Limited announce a proposal to merge and create Australasia’s largest integrated metropolitan, regional and rural print and digital media business.
2007 5 Mar News Limited launches Brisbane edition of mX.
2007 7 Mar Fairfax Media launches Brisbane online publication, brisbanetimes.com.au
2007 4 Apr Australia’s new media-ownership laws take effect.
2007 24 Apr Rural Press Ltd shares cease trading on the Australian Stock Exchange before the merger with Fairfax Media Ltd.
2007 8 May The merger of Fairfax Media Ltd and Rural Press Ltd becomes official.
2007 25 May Bid by O’Reilly family to buy out other shareholders of APN fails despite overwhelming support from small shareholders.
2007 9 Jun TheNewspaperWorks [sic], the newspaper marketing body established in 2006, advertises for an independent consultant to review the current Australian newspaper readership system and to define world’s best newspaper readership measurement.
2007 5 Jul Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network increases its shareholding in West Australian Newspapers to 16pc.
2007 6 Jul National newsagency Australian Associated Press acquires the Media Monitoring Group, a media analysis, monitoring and related services company.
2007 25 Jul News Ltd announces that it will spend $31 million on giving the Hobart Mercury a state-of-the-art printing press within two years.
2007 1 Aug News Corporation’s $US5 billion bid for Dow Jones (flagship is Wall Street Journal) is accepted.
2007 24 Nov The Howard-led conservative-coalition government is voted out of office after 11 years. Kevin Rudd’s Labor team is elected.
2008 29 Jan Final issue of the Bulletin magazine which began on 31 January 1880.
2008 13 Feb The Federal Parliament says sorry to the Stolen Generations of indigenous Australians; extensive reporting of the speech and the response of Australians appears in daily newspapers the next day.
2008 23 Apr Extraordinary meeting of shareholders of West Australian Newspaper Holdings discusses Seven Network’s proposals for “refreshing” the WAN board but does not elect Kerry Stokes and Peter Gammell to the board.
2008 8 May Official opening by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Fairfax Media’s new Sydney headquarters in the inner-city suburb of Pyrmont.
2008 10 Jun Fairfax Media launches Perth’s first online-only news publication: WAtoday.com.au/.
2008 26 Aug Fairfax Media Ltd announces it will shed 550 jobs, 180 of them jobs held by journalists.
2008 22 Sep First Monday edition of the Media section of the Australian; it formerly appeared on Thursdays.
2008 3 Dec Ken Steinke resigns as CEO of West Australian Newspaper Holdings Ltd. less than two hours after chairman Peter Mansell and two other non-executive directors, Jenny Seabrook and Mel Ward, step down at the annual general meeting.
2008 5 Dec David Kirk resigns as CEO of Fairfax Media the day after editor Alan Oakley departed.
2008 10 Dec Brian McCarthy, formerly the deputy CEO, is appointed CEO of Fairfax Media Ltd.
2008 11 Dec Kerry Stokes is elected chairman of the board of West Australian Newspapers Holdings. Chris Wharton, Seven’s Perth managing director, is named the new CEO. Two independent directors, Don Voelte and Sam Walsh, are appointed.
2008 15 Dec WAN’s new CEO Chris Wharton appoints Bob Cronin, 65, as the editor-in-chief of the West Australian, stripping editor Paul Armstrong of editorial control over the Perth daily. Cronin was editor-in-chief of the paper 1986-1996.
2009 20 Apr Fairfax Media runs one-off promotion in Queensland and Western Australian – a 24-page tabloid newspaper under the brisbanetimes.com.au and WAtoday.com.au masthead brands.
2009 30 Apr Fairfax closes Central Coast Sun Weekly, the last link with the failed Central Coast Herald daily experiment of 2002-04
2009 22 June Merger of the Age and Sydney Morning Herald bureaus in the Canberra press gallery
2009 17 Aug The Australian is printed in Hobart for the first time
2009 12-13 Dec The Age moves from Spencer Street to its custom-built building, Media House, at the corner of Collins and Spencer Streets, near Southern Cross Station
2010 28 May Apple’s iPad goes on sale in Australia, and the Australian becomes the first newspaper in Australia to launch an iPad digital edition
2010 30 Oct First issue of the Weekend West, the revamped and newly titled weekend edition of the West Australian, Perth.
2010 6 Dec Brian McCarthy steps down as chief executive of Fairfax Media Ltd and is replaced temporarily by director Greg Hywood, who, on 7 February 2011, is confirmed in the position.
2011 Feb Amanda Wilson becomes the first female editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.
2011 13 Aug Bundaberg NewsMail printed in Bundaberg for final time. It is now printed at APN’s Yandina’s print centre. The Fraser Coast Chronicle of 20 August was the last paper printed on the Bundaberg press—on the evening of Friday, 19 August.
2011 10 Sep Mackay Daily Mercury printed at Mackay for final time. It is now printed at APN’s Rockhampton print centre
2011 10 Nov John B. Fairfax sells his 9.7 per cent stake in Fairfax Media Ltd, ending again the Fairfax family’s interest in the Fairfax company

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Updated to 25 January 2012

Other years in the chronology:

1802 - 1850

1851 - 1900

1901 - 1950

1951 - 2011

1951 - 1960

1961 - 1970

1971 - 1980

1981 - 2000

2001 - 2011