Christchurch-owned Mainland Media has announced it will increase circulation of its free Thursday publication, Mainland Press, to 75,000 copies from January and add a sixth community newspaper.
Mainland Media is a privately owned company and its managing director and co-owner, Pier Smulders, said the increased circulation meant Mainland Press would become the largest circulating free newspaper in Christchurch.
"The recently announced news regarding APN's divestment of The Star demonstrates how important it is that Christchurch retains a locally owned newspaper," Mr Smulders said in a statement yesterday.
He said Downtown would be distributed as a supplement to the Mainland Press to readers living within and around the the four avenues area.
The announcement follows a full integration of the company's newsroom with CTV, with reporters now working across television and print mediums, he said.
By combining the two newsrooms, into one team of 10 editorial staff, they could focus exclusively on local news and stories with more in-depth coverage and lead the way in local content.
• Also under the Mainland Media umbrella are three lifestyle magazines, including two nationally distributed titles, Older & Bolder and Weekend Gardener, and three motoring and trading titles.