WA Business News came to life as a fortnightly newspaper in 1993, offering Western Australia's business people their first taste of an independently owned news format exclusively about them and for them. It was rebranded to Business News in April 2013.
Today, Business News has evolved to become Western Australia's leading general business news and information service.
Established by Harry Kleyn, the founding partner of the Community Newspaper Group, and his business partners Vanguard Press, Business News found a healthy niche as a free circulation newspaper almost exclusively circulated in the Perth CBD.
In 2000, Harry sought new investors joined the team and were represented on the operational side of the business by Executive Director, Elton Swarts, who now holds the position of Executive Chairman.
This event was a catalyst to major change at the newspaper. Within months the company relocated to premises in Beaufort Street, formed a team that began in-house digital design and layout of the newspaper and launched in a weekly format.
There were also some significant changes made to the look of the paper. Printing was transferred to Colourpress, with a resultant improvement in the quality of newsprint from 45 GSM to 52 GSM, providing a cleaner, smoother, whiter finish. Combined with the benefits of the electronic production process, these changes resulted in a striking improvement in colour reproduction.
The next stage of development was to address the newspaper’s editorial department, which was expanded in line with the change to a weekly format and the higher demands for quality.
Towards the end of 2000, Finance Journliast, Mark Pownall joined the team with a decade-long background in daily business in Western Australia and weekly commercial press in the UK.
Business News recognised its ongoing success relied on editorial quality and within two years the Editorial Department grew from three Journalists to seven, covering almost every aspect of industry in WA and offering a news focus unmatched by any other media.
In 2003, the investment in resources for both the editorial and design departments bore fruit with the paper winning a major award by beating a large international field to secure a bronze prize at the Alliance of Area Business Publication’s Annual Editorial Excellence Awards. The Alliance represents 65 business-focused publications world-wide and the award recognised Business News’ high standards against long standing competition. In presenting the Award the judging panel stated that Business News was a publication “with attitude, bold in content and design and therefore, well-suited for the region it serves”. Since the first award, Business News has successfully won another two editorial awards in 2005; Best Small Tabloid, Bronze and Best Scoop; Bronze. This focus on quality fostered another offering to readers beyond the written word – events.
Commencing in 2001 the Business News Events Department has grown into a significant part of the company.
Signature events such as the 40under40 Awards search for young business talent. Business News events assist the Editorial Department to seek out locally based success stories celebrating business achievements in Western Australia. The Success and Leadership series has allowed Perth audiences access to some of WA’s most prominent business leaders. In 2003, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade teamed up with Business News to launch the unique Meet the Ambassadors series connecting Australian ambassadors with WA’s international traders.
Mindful that the importance of a subscription-based circulation model in assuring delivery direct to the office desk, Business News began converting its free circulation list to paid subscription in 2002. A high value subscription package was crafted to include the highly sought after Book of Lists.
The conversion to paid circulation continues to track ahead of estimates based on the US business model with the conclusion in 2004 of the last round of free, door-to-door circulation. The value of a paid versus free paper has made Business News an even more attractive vehicle in which to advertise.
In 2008, The Nielsen Company was commissioned to undertake the fourth readership survey of Business News. Responses to the extensive questionnaire were outstanding.
The survey reported:
- weekly readership of 62,960
- 64% of readers are millionaires
- 95% of readers hold top management positions
- 79% of readers invest more than 15 minutes reading Business News each week
- 95% of readers find Business News to be a useful source of information
The goal for Business News today and its team in going forward is simple - our aim is to deliver a high-quality news and information servce that provices the insights, connection and opportunities to doing business in the nation's leading economy.