Andrew Bonamour, CEO of Tiso Blackstar (Sunday Times, Business Day, Financial Mail, The Sowetan and BDLive) Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi

JOHANNESBURG – Tiso Blackstar yesterday has quashed rumours that it was closing its Business Day print edition in the next few months, in favour of retaining its online edition. 

“We are not closing the Business Day print, not sure where this rumour came from It’s public that we are closing Sunday World,” Tiso Blackstar chief executive Andrew Bonamour said. 

“Our media business is profitable, as is Business Day, and Hirt & Carter numbers speak for themselves.” Bonamour said more detailed information would be released when the company’s annual results are released in September. 

Last month, Tiso Blackstar allegedly issued Section 189 (retrenchment) notices to editorial employees of the Sowetan, Dispatch and Herald, as well as production staff in the business media stream. 

It also announced the proposed closure of the Sunday World newspaper as a result of increasing losses at the title. In the six months to end-December, Tiso Blackstar’s management reported that rising input costs at its media business had forced a continued review of costs across the division. 

Media revenue, excluding businesses for sale - declined 5.9 percent to R702.1 million. 

Hirt & Carter Group, the Durban-based advertising, design and marketing operation reported an 11.5 percent increase in revenue to R1.12 billion and a 5.5 percent increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of R173.5m. 

Tiso Blackstar’s share price closed unchanged at R3.30 per share on the JSE yesterday, well down from the R5 it was trading at a year ago.