Australian Associated Press has confirmed the sale of AAP Newswire and AAP FactCheck to a consortium including investor Nick Harrington and philanthropist John McKinnon.
Under the new owners a refreshed Newswire, which will retain the AAP name, will launch on 1 August.
AAP's current shareholders, including Nine and News Corporation, have decided to retain three parts of the AAP Group: Pagemasters, Medianet, and Racing. Current AAP chairman Bruce Davidson will remain CEO of these three divisions.
"I want to thank all AAP employees for the way you have endured the "roller coaster" of events over the past 4-5 months," said Davidson last night.
"Throughout that time, you have continued to carry out your duties and hardly missed a beat. Thank you."
AAP 2.0 will be led by current group general counsel Emma Cowdroy as CEO and Andrew Drummond as editor.
"We are currently working on finalising the make-up of the team that will help write the next chapter of AAP's history," said Cowdroy.
"The successful sale has ensured that the AAP Newswire, at times a little-known national treasure, will continue to deliver news content for all Australians.
"I am as passionate about the wire today as I was when I joined AAP almost 19 years ago. It is a shared passion. You only have to look at digital and social media over the past months to understand the impact AAP has on the lives of so many Australians."
The AAP Newswire will be owned by a not-for-profit entity which will be governed by a Board. It will also have an Industry Advisory Committee. The appointments to the Board and the Advisory Committee will be determined over the next few months after a rigorous nomination process.
"We believe that this has never been more important to Australian society and were concerned about the impact that AAP's closure would have had on independent journalism, on jobs and on the viability of new entrants to the media space," the new owners said in a statement.
"Some things won't change. The organisation will continue to trade under the AAP brand and will continue to serve many of the existing customers with the stories and images that they have come to rely on.
"Many of the team will remain and many of the management roles will be filled by the existing team."
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