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. We were 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 who 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.
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.
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 an award at the Alliance of Area Business Publication's Annual Editorial Excellence Awards. The Alliance represents a peer group of 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 several other editorial awards: 2005 Best Small Tabloid, Bronze and Best Scoop, Bronze; 2007 Best Special Section Design; 2009 Best Front Page; and 2015 Best Daily Email. This focus on quality fostered another offering to readers beyond the written word – events.
The Business News Events Department, which commenced in 2001, 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.
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, which was first published in 1996.
A decade later, in 2013, the publisher managed another transition from free to paid by shifting its data into a new search engine within the Business News website. Called BNiQ, this business development tool allowed Business News to erect a paywall that only allowed subscribers to access its content. This digital transformation has only been successfully attempted by a few premium publishers.
From January 2016, the in-depth printed edition returned to fortnightly distribution, recognising the change in the media mix due to website news and BNiQ data offering.
- WA Business News was established by Harry Kleyn and Vanguard Press as a free fortnightly newspaper for the Perth CBD.
- First edition of the Book of Lists.
- WA Business News Website created.
- New investors joined including Elton Swarts as Executive Chairman.
- Newspaper becomes weekly; new emphasis on news quality with Mark Pownall recruited to become Editor.
- Book of Lists available on CD.
- Events team established.
- Began conversion from free publication to subscription based circulation.
- Inaugural 40under40 Awards (Mark Barnaba and Manny Papadoulis share the top prize).
- First Success & Leadership Series event.
- Editorial team grew from 3 to 7 journalists, including Mark Beyer.
- Inaugural Rising Stars Awards (winner is ad agency Gatecrasher).
- Final round of free door-to-door circulation.
- Land of the Rising Stars photographic coffee table book published.
- Daily Business Alert emails launched.
- Morning Digest email launched.
- WA Business News moves premises to 139 Newcastle Street, Perth.
- Harry Kleyn retires from the role of CEO.
- Sponsors St Vinnies CEO Sleepout – Elton Swarts participates raising almost $23,000.
- WA Business News is rebranded to Business News.
- Launched BNiQ - WA Business Intelligence (digital Book of Lists) and introduced metered paywall for registered users.
- Full gloss format for newspaper.
- New mobile-friendly design for Daily Business Alert.
- Web traffic after installation of paywall exceeds traffic before paywall.
- Charlie Gunningham becomes CEO.
- Launch of the Weekender email and subscriber centre.
- Launch of mobile app - iOS & Android.
- Business News returns to fortnightly format.
- Mark Pownall becomes CEO, Mark Beyer becomes Editor.
- Joint marketing of the BDO Remuneration Report.
- Charles Kobelke joins Business News in the role of General Manager Sales, Engagement & Development.
- Business News celebrate its 25th Anniversary
- New mobile app launched.
- Charles Kobelke becomes CEO.
- Mark Pownall becomes Director of Strategy and Innovation.
- New website is launched along with new subscriber feature, MYBN
- BNiQ is rebranded to Data & Insights
- Sean Cowan becomes Managing Editor