Home » General » Sunday Southern Eye Newspaper Shuts Down

LOCAL media group, Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) has shut down one of its titles, Sunday Southern Eye, as the company battles a serious financial crunch.

AMH, who are also the publishers of the Newsday, Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and Southern Eye newspapers, announced the shutdown in a company last Friday.

The statement said “with effect from July 28, we are consolidating Sunday Southern Eye with our recently revamped sister paper, The Standard”.

AMH said it was committed to the company’s “digital first strategy” a strategy “that has made it possible for Southern Eye to be always in touch with its readers who continue to offer valuable feedback”.

“A recurring theme in this feedback is the need for a much ger presence during weekends,” the company said.

Sources at the company who asked not to be named said the closure of the paper was as a result of a serious financial crisis that has seen AMH to struggle to pay salaries on time and retrench workers in recent months.

“The truth of the matter is that since their inception in June last year, both the Sunday Southern Eye and Southern Eye have been operating at a huge loss,” the source said.

“The papers are failing to break even in both aertising and newspaper sales. Because of this situation, head office has been subsidising the operations of the Bulawayo office.”

Sources said AMH was now planning to merge the Bulawayo-based Southern Eye with Newsday, one of the company’s dailies.

“As we speak the process of harmonising the newspaper titles has already started at head office.

“All AMH reporters with the exception of those from The Independent are now required to file stories for all newspapers under the AMH stable. The Standard and Newsday now have got one news editor,” said another source.

The AMH group is owned by businessman, Trevor Ncube. Ncube is also the majority shareholder of South Africa’s respected Mail and Guardian newspaper which is also said to have hit a dry patch.

South Africa’s The Star newspaper reported last Friday that the Mail and Guardian was facing a cash crunch that had seen suppliers, contributors and some staff not being paid for months, and that it had defaulted on its rent.

The Star added that the newspaper faced a potential strike over bonuses and incentives and that staffers were even considering legal action.

Unnamed sources claimed the crisis had been spawned by Ncube’s loss-making Zimbabwean operations. They also alleged the Mamp was subsiding Ncube’s businesses in Zimbabwe.

But Mamp chief executive, Hoosain Karjieker, said this not true.

The allegations in the article are completely untrue,” Karjieker told Sapa.

“We do not fund the Zimbabwe operations from South Africa, our staff members have all been paid, there is no dispute in terms of withholding bonuses, commission, or incentives.”

Source : New Zimbabwe