The Mercury (Hobart)
|Owner||News Corp Australia|
|Headquarters||Level 1, 2 Salamanca Square, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7000|
The Mercury is a daily newspaper, published in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, by Davies Brothers Pty Ltd, part of News Corp Australia and News Corp. The weekend issues of the paper are called Mercury on Saturday and Sunday Tasmanian.
The newspaper was started on 5 July 1854 by George Auber Jones and John Davies. Two months subsequently (13 September 1854) John Davies became the sole owner.1 It was then published twice weekly and known as the Hobarton Mercury. It rapidly expanded, absorbing its rivals, and became a daily newspaper in 1858 under the lengthy title The Hobart Town Daily Mercury. In 1860 the masthead was reduced to The Mercury and in 2006 it was further shortened to simply Mercury.
After Davies' retirement in 1871, the business was carried on by his sons John George Davies and Charles Ellis Davies who later traded as Davies Brothers Ltd. John Davies died on 11 June 1872, aged 58. The company remained in the family's hands until 1988, when it was taken over by News Limited (now News Corp Australia), a subsidiary of News Corporation.
Other Tasmanian titles published by the company are the weekly rural newspaper Tasmanian Country, the weekly regional newspaper The Gazette, and the monthly travel magazine Treasure Island.
The Saturday Evening Mercury, known locally as the 'SEM' was printed and circulated for readers on a Saturday evening from 1954 to 1984, it was replaced in early 1984 by the first Sunday circulations in southern Tasmania, known as the Sunday Tasmanian which still exists today.
At various stages in its history there have been limited experiments with regional papers—such as The Westerner which succeeded The West Coast Miner in 1979 to serve the West Coast until its demise in 1995—as well as suburban newspapers for the Hobart market, which appeared in various guises from 1966 until 1998. In November 2006 the company launched what it called a "newspaper in a newspaper" the Kingborough Times which appears monthly within the Sunday Tasmanian. This was followed in June 2007 by the Northern Times with news from Hobart's northern suburbs.
From November 2001 to January 5, 2012 the Editor of the Mercury and Sunday Tasmanian was Garry Bailey. Cairns Post editor Andrew Holman was appointed as his successor, taking up the position in late January 2012.2
In July 2007 News Corporation approved a new $31 million press centre for Davies Brothers Pty Ltd, publisher of the Mercury and the Sunday Tasmanian, including the installation of the latest colour press.3
Davies Brothers opened the new print centre at the Tasmanian Technopark in Dowsing Point, north of Hobart, in 2009. A new KBA Comet four-colour press replaced the 35-year-old Goss Urbanite press that had been housed in the Argyle Street wing of the company's city site.4 Other operations of the newspaper group continued to be based in the heart of the city at 93 Macquarie Street.
The success of the new centre soon saw the introduction of local printing of interstate titles for local distribution. This includes the national daily The Australian and Melbourne's Herald Sun. The centre is believed to be the only News Ltd site to print a rival Fairfax Media title, namely The Australian Financial Review.
In November 2011 Davies Brothers chief executive officer Rex Gardner announced that the company would move from its landmark Macquarie St headquarters in August 2012, leasing a new office at 2 Salamanca Square.5 The move took place over the weekend of July 28-29, 2012, although months of work had taken place in advance.
The company has branch offices in Launceston and Burnie, as well as its print centre at Dowsing Point and its distribution centre at Western Junction near Launceston. Its branch office at New Norfolk closed in December 2010.6 An office in William St, Queenstown closed in the early 1990s.
It was announced in May 2013 that the original site had been sold to an unidentified buyer7 including the heritage-listed Ingle Hall, which was built in 1814 and housed the Mercury Print Museum. The Macquarie St and Argyle St frontages of the Mercury building were heritage listed in 20128
As of March 2011, the Mercury reported its Monday–Friday circulation as 44,317 with an average readership of 107,000 and its Saturday circulation as 61,020 with readership of 146,000.9 The Sunday Tasmanian reported circulation of 58,148 with readership of 129,000.10
- The Mercury 5 Nov 1995, page 4f, 'The Jubilee of The Mercury'
- Cairns editor for the Mercury, Mercury website.
- $31m press upgrade for Mercury, Mercury website, 25 July 2007.
- Tassie tough: News' Hobart site in detail, gxpress website, 1 September 2009.
- Mercury on the move, Mercury website, 17 November 2011.
- Gazette office closes but paper carries on, New Norfolk News website, 22 December 2010.
- Buyer inks deal on landmark, Mercury website, 16 May 2013.
- , ABC News website 3 December 2012.
- Facts: Mercury, NewsSpace, March 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- Facts: Sunday Tasmanian, NewsSpace, March 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- Official website
- Digitised historic Mercury from the National Library of Australia
- Digitised Hobarton Mercury from the National Library of Australia
- Digitised Hobart Town Mercury from the National Library of Australia
- Digitised Hobart Town Daily Mercury from the National Library of Australia