Stuff Group Wins Global Award for Transformation Strategy

New Zealand’s Stuff Group has been awarded a global prize for business transformation at the International News Media Association (INMA) awards, almost four years after its management buyout from Australian owners.

In an entry to INMA’s Best Innovation in Newsroom Transformation category titled “Consciously Uncoupling”, the separation of Stuff Ltd in 2023 into distinct businesses beat entries from major media groups including the UK’s The Times and Sunday Times and the Irish Independent.

A statement from the company says that separating Stuff’s large teams of multimedia journalists into two separate businesses: Stuff Digital for its scale audiences on stuff.co.nz, Neighbourly and audio and Stuff Masthead Publishing with subscriber-led masthead digital, newspaper and magazine products, was described as “counterintuitive” but inordinately successful, creating two self-funded, standalone businesses with distinct and differentiated strategies and business models.

“key to this strategy is differentiated revenue models…”

Stuff Group owner and publisher Sinead Boucher says that key to this strategy is differentiated revenue models, through monetisation of scale audiences in Stuff Digital – including New Zealand’s largest digital news audience on stuff.co.nz – and through consumer revenue propositions including launching digital subscriptions for its heritage masthead brands The Post, The Press and The Waikato Times.

“Under CEO Laura Maxwell, each business has its own managing director, dedicated teams and a singular focus on their unique audiences and customers. These better serve our commercial partners and audiences on both a national and local level and has equipped the leaders – Nadia Tolich in Stuff Digital and Joanna Norris in Masthead Publishing – with ensuring their businesses are innovative and profitable.”

Maxwell, who led strategic development first as Chief Growth Officer before moving into the CEO role under the new structure, says the uncoupling has freed each business to drive its growth and profitability in distinct and diverse ways.

The company says the businesses are supported by a central commercial team within the Stuff Group led by advertising leader Matt Headland which services both business models through commercial partnerships, marketing and sponsorships.

Stuff leadership team. Left to right: Nadia Tolich, Laura Maxwell, Matt Headland, Sinead Boucher, Joanna Norris.

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