Former Woman's Day editor Wendyl Nissen says no one at Bauer had any inkling the magazine publisher was about to pull the plug on its New Zealand operation.

Nissen, a current Woman's Weekly columnist, talking to Laura, Sam and Toni on the Hits Breakfast show this morning about yesterday's shock announcement said: "My whole industry has basically fallen over overnight".

"I"ve been working in magazines since the early 90s, which is a long time ago, and this is all my friends that it affects," she said. "These are titles I've edited, Woman's Day, Woman's Weekly, Australian Woman's Weekly; these are titles I hold dear to my heart."


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"[Staff] didn't see it coming," she said, "[They] thought they were just having a Zoom conference call."

Bauer Media Group has announced its closing its publishing business in New Zealand due to the severe economic impact of Covid-19. Video / Bauer Media NZ

The company also published the Listener, North & South, Next, Metro, Kia Ora, Home NZ and Your Home & Garden.

Nissen said she believed the company made a "pragmatic" decision to shut its doors when the company was forced to stop printing.

"When magazines got taken off the essentials list - basically no sales of magazines - that just brought New Zealand down a peg or two on their ledger and it just hit a button. Bauer just said, 'right, got to let that go, we can't make any money out of that anymore'."

Wendyl Nissen picture supplied
Wendyl Nissen picture supplied

She also told the hosts that "the gun was loaded" and that she suspected Bauer was going to make some kind of move out of New Zealand. But had the titles been allowed to print, she said, people would have still been in employment, "for a month, six months, maybe until the end of the year".

"The gun was loaded and the government gave them the bullet."


She hoped someone would pick up the stable of titles, many of which have been around for decades.

"I know the Weekly was making money, I know the Listener was making money so it's not like they're dead in the water for someone who may have some money.

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"We're crossing our fingers and really hoping that we get to see some of those magazines live and breathe again."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website