After weeks of speculation about the magazine’s fate, New Zealand’s largest magazine publisher ACP Media announced on Friday that it has entered negotiations to sell New Zealand NetGuide and the associated website to Action Media.

This story appeared in yesterday’s New Zealand Herald. According to the Herald’s story, the September edition of the magazine will be the first published by Action Media.

There are no details in the Herald story about the price paid for the title, however it probably wasn’t much as the title clearly didn’t sit comfortably in ACP’s New Zealand stable. ACP Media Chief Executive Officer Paul Dykzeul said it “was no longer a strategic fit”.

ACP Media picked up the New Zealand NetGuide as part of a 2003 deal which also saw ACPs Australian parent acquire the Australian NetGuide which now sits alongside PC User and Australian Personal Computer. ACP has no other technology titles in New Zealand.

Although it was successful, New Zealand NetGuide has suffered a rapidly declining circulation in recent years. ABC audit figures show the magazine had average net paid sales of 34,712 in 2001, but this figure had fallen to just 12,989 by the end of 2007. Informal reports from bookstands suggest copy sales may have fallen still further during 2008. Likewise the number of paid advertisements has dropped considerably in recent months.

Disclosure: I was contract editor of the Australian NetGuide for six months in 1997 when Ozemail owned it.

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