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Another SA media blow as Adelaide Review shuts doors

Media and marketing

South Australia’s media diversity has taken another hit, with long-running The Adelaide Review announcing it is preparing its final edition before closing down.

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The free, independent monthly print news and arts magazine and later website – which rose to prominence under Christopher Pearson in the 1980s – announced this morning its next edition, the 488th, would be the last.

In an earlier iteration it was published as The Adelaide Preview, edited by prominent newsman Terry Plane, before Pearson bought the masthead.

Editor and publishing director Amanda Pepe told InDaily the staff were “devastated”.

“We did everything we possibly could to keep it going … unfortunately all businesses are suffering,” she said.

Pepe said the company, “like all media”, had suffered big hits to its advertising revenues during the COVID pandemic, with the magazine’s arts focus making it particularly susceptible given that industry’s virtual standstill.

She said the six permanent staff would receive full entitlements.

“I’m sad for the state – we need diversity [and this] means one less vehicle for people to inform themselves and get some different opinions,” she said.

The Adelaide Review is the primary masthead of locally-based Opinion Media, owned by Spanish mogul Javier Moll.

A statement on its website by Pepe and digital editor Walter Marsh said: “It is no secret that the upheavals of COVID-19 have hit the media industry in serious and profound ways, compounding the ongoing challenges and disruptions that in recent years have made a long-running, free street press like The Adelaide Review a rare and important piece of South Australia’s publishing landscape.

“But, unfortunately, the numbers just do not add up.”

They said “there is no question that The Adelaide Review’s reporting of the highs and lows of South Australian arts, politics, food and wine, and society, has had a profound impact on our readers and the state as a whole”.

“For that, we must of course thank our community of past contributors and editors who have filled our pages over the years, and the current team who have done an admirable job in challenging circumstances,” they said.

It comes only weeks after the SA’s biggest regional newspaper, The Border Watch, shut down suddenly after 159 years, with the loss of 38 jobs.

Penola-based The Pennant and 129-year-old South Eastern Times based in Millicent also closed.

Channel Ten recently announced the axing of its Adelaide-based 5pm weekday news and jobs in order to broadcast from Melbourne, while Seven recently pulled the plug on its 4pm Adelaide bulletin.

The ABC and The Advertiser also has quietly farewelled a number of journalists recently as budget cuts and declining advertising revenue take their toll.

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