ACP Magazines has closed a long established business publication, leaving SME business owners in Queensland in the lurch.
Queensland Business Review (QBR) published the Queensland 400, a list of the top Queensland businesses, along with the Book of Lists which included the top 25 businesses for every sector in Queensland.
“The decision to close a title is never an easy one and Queensland Business Review is certainly no exception,” says Graham Gardiner, associate Publisher of ACP’s Trader Business Media (TBM).
“Queensland Business Review, the Queensland 400 and the Book of Lists are strong brands, but in current market conditions it has been difficult for TBM to make them a commercially viable proposition.”
“Moreover, a strategic review has determined that they no longer fit with the broader TBM strategy to grow and broaden its market-leading presence in the core transport and machinery industry sectors.”
Launched in 1998, QBR was aimed at servicing the news and information needs of small- and medium-sized businesses, both in print and online.
In 2001 it launched the Queensland 400, a program that recognised the achievements of the state’s unsung business “heroes”, the owners of Queensland’s top privately owned companies, through a published listing of the state’s 400 largest privately held enterprises and annual gala awards dinner.
Around the same time QBR also began publication of the Book of Lists, an annual business-to-business directory that, uniquely, lists the largest organisations in key industry categories, from accountants to workplace health and safety consultants.
Former owner of QBR, Andrew Stewart, told SmartCompany the closure had come “out of the blue”.
“At its height QBR had 5,000 subscribers and had hundreds of people going along to events,” says Stewart.
“Thousands of Queensland business owners will no longer get the daily and weekly newsletters they paid for from today.”
Stewart says Queensland business owners will not have a voice following the closure.
“Not at that level they won’t, I know News Limited are trying to do a few things but it is all just the big public companies or PR people pushing things.”
“For the genuine SME business owner and manager, there is not anything particularly plugged into them.”
Stewart says QBR started out as Business Queensland, a publication which was established in the 1980s as an unlisted public company.
“They put $18 million into that and it fell over in the tech wreck and we [PSA Media] bought the remains for $33,000 in 2001 and we developed it much more as an online vehicle with a monthly newsletter,” says Stewart.
PSA Media sold QBR to PBL media, part of ACP Magazines, in 2007.