Pollster Roy Morgan revealed as one of several AAP suitors

By Jenni Gilbert | 23 March 2020

At least three parties are showing interest in buying all or parts of the national news agency Australian Associated Press which is due to close in June.

Gary Morgan, executive chairman of Roy Morgan Research, is "absolutely I'm interested". He sees the newswire fitting within in his stable of businesses -- polling, daily news and audience tracking services.

Michele Levine, the CEO of Roy Morgan, told AdNews: "AAP is a fantastic business and, yes, we are very interested in looking at what we can do with it."

Such a deal would encompass AAP's national news service Newswire, press release service Medianet and subediting and production arm Pagemasters.

Today's development follows news last week that several buyers were sniffing around the 85-year-old business, whose closure was announced early this month.

Levine says AAP is an institution.

"We would hate to see it dead," she says. "It's is a very good fit for us on a number levels.

"Roy Morgan itself is a powerful new source of surveys and nightly polls, and of course we have our daily market research update which brings together a wealth of information, plus 20 years of historical news data to call on. It needs a vehicle.

"We have our worldwide financial news and data service. So there's a number of pieces of a puzzle that, when you look at it, fit very well together.

"At Roy Morgan we deal in the truth - surveys of public opinion to show what people actually think and want.

"And so we are interested in a media business that aggregates, curates and provides the truth."

Industry insiders say Roy Morgan Research is one of at least three contenders for AAP but the only one has so far gone on the record.

AAP has reportedly put a temporary hold on the closure and redundancy processes, with CEO Bruce Davidson saying: “I must stress that no decision can be made on the viability of these approaches until meaningful talks take place. We all should be cautious: nothing may come of these discussions."

AAP editor-in-chief Tony Gillies told AdNews: "There are a number of parties with an interest but we have not been able to comment as, from our perspective, they have been confidential and have asked to remain so."

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