More people are reading the Whanganui Chronicle, according to newly released Nielsen readership results.

The results show the newspaper's readership is 19,000, up 4000, or 27 per cent, on the previous survey, and up 3000, or 19 per cent, on the same period last year.

Regional editor Kim Gillespie said the numbers were a ringing endorsement of the news team's efforts over the past year.

"It's been a year of great change for the team, not least with the introduction of digital subscriptions and a renewed focus on premium storytelling which readers have enjoyed online and in print."


He said it was great to know more locals were turning to the Chronicle for news and information about goings-on in the region, as well as strong local opinion.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Herald's focus on premium, quality journalism is paying dividends, with soaring digital and print readership.

And the Herald's magazines – including Travel, Canvas, Viva, TimeOut and BeWell – are also enjoying strong growth.

The New Zealand Herald's average daily newspaper readership is 465,000, an increase of 12,000 people on the same period last year, according to Nielsen readership results released today.

At the same time, the Herald's overall digital audience numbers are also soaring. In October, the NZ Herald's monthly unique audience reached 1.824 million.

The results follow a huge news year for the NZ Herald, and major events such as the Netball World Cup, Cricket World Cup and Rugby World Cup.

"In times of political uncertainty across the globe and within a fragmented media industry, audiences turn to brands they trust. It has been a massive year for news in New Zealand and the Herald has been at the forefront with its fearless pursuit of big stories, major issues and in-depth investigations," NZME managing editor Shayne Currie said.

The launch of digital subscriptions in late April opened a new business model for NZME to help sustain the future of quality journalism – more than 15,000 new subscribers have signed up, in addition to the tens of thousands of print subscribers who have activated their digital accounts.


"First and foremost, we are doing the right thing by our readers. We steadfastly adhere to the fundamentals of journalism: relentless curiosity, holding truth to power, and giving a voice to the voiceless," Currie said.

Travel magazine is the best-read newspaper magazine in New Zealand, with 379,000 readers – up 40 per cent year on year, according to the Nielsen numbers released today.

The new-look Canvas magazine is read by 374,000 people, up 26 per cent year-on-year.

The Thursday TimeOut magazine also continues to build on its recent success. It is now read by 316,000 people - up 59,000 on last year - while Viva has recorded more growth, up 14,000 on last year.

The Weekend Herald (516,000 readers, up 7000 year on year) and Herald on Sunday (314,000, 60 per cent of Sunday newspaper market) continue to dominate the news agenda at the weekends.

NZME CEO Michael Boggs said: "New Zealand Media and Entertainment is also celebrating the 3.2 million New Zealanders that listen to its radio networks, read its newspapers or access its digital and mobile sites each month.

"We take great pride in delivering Kiwis news, information and entertainment where, when and how they want it. Our unrivalled blend of digital content, radio broadcast and newspaper distribution means we can connect with Kiwis regardless of where they call home.

"While we know we reach a mass audience, it's the engagement level that's vital. That, and the confidence our customers have that our audiences are delivered by locals for locals."

Meanwhile, Newstalk ZB has grown market share with New Zealand audiences hungry for news and opinion according to the GfK independent commercial radio survey results, once more claiming the title as New Zealand's number one radio network. Newstalk ZB is now also the number one station in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with The Mike Hosking Breakfast Show claiming the spot as most popular Breakfast show.

Fletch, Vaughan and Megan, hosts of ZM Breakfast, continue to lead the way with young Kiwis as the #1 breakfast show for all New Zealanders Under 40.

"We've taken great strides this year delivering listeners the hosts they can relate to whichever station they choose to listen to. We have an incredible line-up of New Zealand's most talented broadcasters and they're here, day in day out for their listeners," said NZME Group Director Entertainment, Dean Buchanan.

Newstalk ZB's continued dominance across the year has been especially pleasing for NZME, with several changes to ZB's line-up during the year including Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford hosting Afternoons, Kerre McIvor moving to Mornings and Heather du Plessis-Allan hosting Drive.

"For Newstalk ZB, this is an incredible amount of change in a short period of time and the audience has loved it. Our loyal listeners have stayed, and our on-air teams have attracted brand new listeners as well," said NZME's Head of Talk Jason Winstanley.

"The arrival of Simon and Phil has had an immediate impact in the Christchurch radio market with audiences following the 'Barnett Effect'," said Winstanley.

The great NZME survey results have gone hand in hand with industry recognition at this year's radio awards. ZM won network station of the year with ZM Breakfast's Fletch, Vaughan and Megan winning Best Breakfast Show. Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking and Marcus Lush won awards for their shows and ZB's reporting team won accolades for their news coverage.

"Another year like this shows the exciting opportunity we have to continue to grow audiences right across NZME radio. Today's results reinforce the radio industry's growing potential to deliver bigger and more engaged audiences than ever before," said NZME's Chief Radio and Commercial Officer Wendy Palmer.

CEO Michael Boggs: "We're also celebrating the 3.2 million New Zealanders that listen to NZME's radio networks, read our newspapers or access our digital brands regularly.

We take great pride in delivering Kiwis news, information and entertainment where, when and how they want it. Our unrivalled blend of digital content, radio broadcasts and newspaper distribution mean we can connect with Kiwis regardless of where they are."