First published in June 1939 it's content covered a variety of general topics including current affairs, politics and entertainment. In regards to Kiwi TV the important feature is that it had a legal monopoly on the publication of upcoming television and radio programmes up until the 1980s. Thus it was the publication of record for TV productions and screenings in New Zealand, with episode listings, reviews, feature articles etc.

During the CONVIS-19 stay-at-home of 2020 its then owner Bauer Media unexpectedly announced that all its New Zealand titles would immediately cease publication with all staff being made redundant. After several months Bauer Media confirmed reports its Australian and New Zealand business had been bought by he Sydney-based investment company Mercury Capital. Sources were reporting that even after this purchase Bauer's New Zealand magazine titles remain on the market, but that Mercury struggled to find a buyer for the Listener and that it would be forced to hold on to the title. It's understood that some potential buyers had walked away from the process entirely, perhaps wary of taking on the liability of 43,000 paid subscribers who have been assured that they will get the complete number of magazines they paid for, with missed issues tagged on to the end of the subscription period.

Then in mid July 2020 Mercury Capital announced NZ Listener alongside some other ex-Bauer titles would resume publication immediately, about 40 local editorial and advertising jobs to be created. It is substantially less than what we had previously [in terms of staff numbers] ... but it is sustainable and we are hoping we can grow it over the medium to long term and have more and more people back.

Insight '79 The Listener - an NZBC radio Insight show looking at the history of the magazine in light of the then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon's assertion that it held an editorial policy that was left of centre.

 

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