MediaWeb, the publisher of OnFilm and a number of other trade titles, was placed in receivership late on Wednesday.
MediaWeb has been in financial difficulties for quite some time, with reports surfacing last year that over 30 people contracted to various MediaWeb publications were not being paid. The receivership is of MediaWeb, of which 51% is owned by OnFilm (the company) and 49% by Toni Myers.
The problems have been reasonably obvious at OnFilm (the magazine), which went through several editors during 2012 following the resignation of longtime editor Nick Grant at the end of 2011. Many of those editors including Grant left, allegedly, because of difficulties getting their invoices settled by MediaWeb.
During 2013, MediaWeb contracted Dan Slevin as OnFilm editor. The publishers announced that the magazine would resize, move from monthly to bi-monthly publication and return in April. It eventually appeared in June and put out a second issue in time for August’s Big Screen Symposium.
Since then, there have been no further print editions. The OnFilm website, Facebook and twitter pages were updated sporadically until October. This morning, Slevin posted on OnFilm’s twitter account, “Mediaweb, ONFILM’s publisher, was placed in receivership yesterday. This account will no longer be monitored. Thanks for your support.”
Slevin is one of the creditors owed money by MediaWeb, and is now editor of Wellington’s FishHead magazine.
Receivers were unable to comment today about whether OnFilm (the company) or MediaWeb owned OnFilm the magazine. Since only MediaWeb is currently in receivership, that’s an important distinction to make. It’s presently unclear whether OnFilm (the magazine) is an asset of the receivership or still in business.
Receivers did confirm to Screen Hub that The Data Book was among the assets of the receivership. The other screen-related publication caught up in the receivership is AdMedia.
When Mediaweb was formed, Myers took a 49 percent stake in the new company and its respective holdings while OnFilm gained the remaining 51 percent.
The receivers published a notice of the receivership
THE RECEIVERSHIPS ACT 1993 MEDIAWEB LIMITED (IN RECEIVERSHIP) NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT OF RECEIVERS AND MANAGERS
Pursuant to Section 8 We advise that on the 5th day of March 2014, at 3:58 p.m. Tony Leonard Maginness and Peri Micaela Finnigan, Insolvency Practitioners, of Auckland, were appointed jointly and severally as Receivers and Managers of the property of Mediaweb Limited under the powers contained in a General Security Deed (GSD) and Specific Security Deed (SSD) both dated the 30th day of May 2011 in which the company agreed to grant to the Secured Party, security over all its present and after acquired personal property and real property (as set out in the GSD and the specific collateral described in the SSD (the Secured Property).
Receivers have a statutory obligation to publish a report within two months of a receivership having been notified. The first report is normally an interim report noting the identified assets (and which have been secured by receivers), the debts of the company, plus an outline of the receivers’ intentions going forward.
The receivers hope to realise MediaWeb’s assets which, if OnFilm is one of those assets, would amount to the branding, membership database and any historical content to which MediaWeb holds copyright.