Tucked away in Sinead Boucher’s sock drawer is the one-dollar coin that transformed the former journalist into New Zealand’s biggest media mogul, giving her a platform to challenge Facebook and other social media giants.
Boucher, 50, bought media giant Stuff Ltd for the nominal sum of NZ$1.00 (US$0.67) in May, taking control of New Zealand’s most popular news website, stuff.co.nz, and mastheads such as Wellington’s Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press.
Already a senior executive at the company, Boucher was well aware of the challenges facing news media world-wide — describing a business model “shredded” by the online giants, with revenues further slashed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some companies, such as Germany’s Bauer Media, decided New Zealand’s small market was not worth the bother and shut their local operations, a fate Boucher was determined Stuff would avoid.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of all these titles, not just the website