New Age to launch in December

The long-awaited print launch of New Age will take place on December 6, the newspaper’s editor Henry Jeffreys confirmed on Tuesday.

Jeffreys — former editor of the Afrikaans daily Burger — also takes up his position at the New Age on Wednesday, December 1.

He was appointed shortly after the sudden departure of former editor Vuyo Mvuko. Jeffreys is a former deputy and political editor of the Johannesburg daily Beeld, where he started his career in the 1980s.

The paper will hit the streets next Monday although its Sunday edition is on hold for now.

The publication was supposed to have launched in September and again in October but, aside from a special issue delivered at the African National Congress’s national general council in Durban in September, it has so far only published online.

The September postponement was because staff felt they were not ready and still had to break in the new technology they had purchased, as well as to train staff.

The delay in its October launch coincided with the sudden resignation of five key staff members.

Mvoko, deputy editor Karima Brown, opinion and analysis page editor Vukani Mde, news editor Amy Musgrave and arts and culture editor Damon Boyd all resigned on the same day.

The staffers said out of professionalism they would not discuss their reasons.

The New Age is the fourth mainstream newspaper to attempt breaking into the South African market in recent years. Media 24’s Nova, Nigerian venture This Day and Avusa’s weekend paper the Weekender have all folded.

The newspaper would be published by Bennett Colemen & Co Ltd, which publishes the world’s largest English newspaper the Times of India.

It would be funded by the Gupta Group, which has close links to the ruling ANC.

Publisher TNA Media’s executive chairman is Atul Gupta, while former minister in the presidency Essop Pahad is a director and senior adviser, and former Anglo American South Africa CEO Lazarus Zim is a director. — Sapa

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