I finished up at APN yesterday after three and a half years. It has been a great ride, and very productive. I feel I am leaving a business quite different from the one I joined.
Digitally it is well positioned, with traffic growing and ending the year with the strongest revenue numbers ever. Really terrific YoY growth. The immediate challenge for the business now is meeting client demand and ensuring audience growth continues. But that's not a unique situation. It's an indicator of success.
During the past three and a half years we have established a whole new network of regional news sites that is now a genuine competitor as a network buy to FD and NDM. Obviously, the APN Digital coverage is specific in geography. But it is 10% of the national market that no one else reaches, so it is very valuable.
And this year we did the agency deal with Fairfax to sell classifieds in Qld and Northern NSW, which kicked off in August. I think that is a classic win win.
We also set up some pretty ambitious new products - such as finda - that are set to continue the growth story and extend into new audiences.
So I feel satisfied I am leaving the digital part of the business well positioned and primed for further growth.
And I am pleased to say that we brought some very good digital people into the business. The kind of talent and expertise that will enable APN to build a new business culture, and continue the growth trajectory that digital has been on.
As for me, I'll watch with interest. But right now I'm looking forward to having a break and spending some time with my family.
Happy Christmas, and here's to 2011 ...