New Age advertising: Who you gonna call?

The most recent Nielsen Adex report revealed that Telkom, which is 40% owned by the government, was the top advertiser in the New Age during the period, according to City Press.

It was responsible for a third of the newspaper's advertising revenue.

The data showed that the newspaper was handsomely supported by parastatals and national government.

According to the data, national government invested a little more than R16-million in advertising.

This was not necessarily hard cash, and it could include the value of barter and trade agreements between the parastatal and the paper, according to the report.

National government, Telkom and Transnet made up almost half of the New Age's top 20 clients.

Last month, City Press reported that some of the biggest state-owned companies were paying millions of rands to bankroll New Age business breakfasts hosted by the Gupta family.

These included Transnet, Telkom and Eskom.

It was previously reported that Telkom sponsored 12 business breakfasts worth R12-million in the 2012/13 financial year, according to the newspaper.

It emerged last week that the New Age was planning to launch a 24-hour news channel on DStv's premium bouquet.

Sources at the paper said they were only notified of plans to move into television two weeks ago but that construction is already under way for a new studio.

According to a statement released on Thursday, the channel is being launched by Infinity Media, a joint venture between India's Essel Media, South Africa’s Oakbay Investments and a broad-based black economic empowerment structure.

It said that Essel Media and Oakbay will each own 35%, while the empowerment structure will hold 30% of the business. The BEE structure is still being finalised.

Essel Media is part of the Essel Group, which offers entertainment and news channels in India. Essel Media is managed by LN Goel, who was formerly the managing director of Zee News, and is a founding member of the Essel Group.

The New Age is owned by the wealthy Gupta family, which has close ties to President Jacob Zuma and his family. Zuma’s wife Bongi Ngema is employed by a Gupta-owned mining services company and his son Duduzane sits on several boards together with the Guptas. – Sapa and Staff Reporter

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