Key Points:

Fairfax's Trade Me operation is a rare bright spot in Goldman Sachs JBWere analysts' picture of a tough year ahead for Australasian media companies.

Overall, media companies faced upheavals as more players entered the fray and convergence created a collision between media companies and telcos.

Advertisers were moving away from traditional media, amid audience fragmentation and a deterioration of content arising from cost cutting.

Fairfax's Australian bosses last week dismissed a rumour floated on the New Zealand website Public Address suggesting Trade Me may have been talking to global online auction company ebay, and sale proceeds might be used by Fairfax to pay off debt.

Fairfax Australia said selling the online auction site would be "nuts" - a view backed by the Goldman analysts.

Fairfax operates newspapers and magazines in the New Zealand market, including the Sunday Star-Times and Cuisine.

Fairfax's New Zealand mastheads operated in single newspaper markets, but it was evident they were not immune from macro-economic trends,

The New Zealand economy would face six to nine months of recession, but the analysts noted that Trade Me's revenue was estimated to grow 20 per cent in 2009.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation - which has a 44 per cent stake in Sky Television - was Goldman Sachs JB Were analysts' favourite to recover, based on a 12-month outlook.

APN News & Media - owner of the New Zealand Herald and other media on both sides of the Tasman - was less exposed than its peers and had "comfortable" coverage of its debt.

But advertising underpinned 85 per cent of revenue so earnings would be under pressure.

APN's radio division - which it half owns with US company Clear Channel Communications - would struggle to hold its Australian revenues.

The New Zealand arm, The Radio Network - which includes Newstalk ZB - would continue to face tough trading conditions, particularly in Auckland where it had 70 per cent market share, the Goldman Sachs JBWere analysts reported.