Provincial Newspapers (Qld.) Ltd., 1968-1988

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Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Provincial Newspapers (Qld.) Ltd., 1968-1988

Parallel form(s) of name

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Other form(s) of name

  • PNQ
  • A. Dunn and Family
  • A. Dunn and Company Pty. Ltd.
  • Provincial Newspapers (Qld.) Pty Ltd, 1966 – 1968

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Description area

Dates of existence



Provincial Newspapers (Qld.) Ltd. (PNQ) was the holding company formed in 1968 by the merger of six privately owned, regionally-based Queensland newspaper companies which represented multiple generations of family control since 1861. This included the newspaper businesses controlled by the Dunn, Manning, Irwin, Parkinson, Stephenson, and Kippens families. The Dunn family company’s name Provincial Newspapers (Qld.) was adopted for the merged company. Together the families controlled nine regional newspapers in Queensland.
Prominent among them was the Dunn family, who owned the Maryborough Chronicle, the Morning Bulletin in Rockhampton, the Warwick Daily News, and the Toowoomba Chronicle. The Dunns had previously traded as A. Dunn and Family, later A. Dunn and Company Pty Ltd. and then as Provincial Newspapers (Qld.).
Through its acquisition of the Melbourne-based Herald and Weekly Times (HWT) on 6 February 1987 Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd indirectly acquired a large parcel of shares in PNQ, which, in combination with other part-owned companies with shares in PNQ, gave News Ltd 48.6% of all PNQ shares. Taking a State-based approach the Trade Practices Commission (TPC) approved the News Ltd takeover of HWT but determined that in Queensland the acquisition would give News Ltd too much market share. The TPC advised that News Ltd should onsell its PNQ shares.
On 26th July 1988 News Ltd sold to Haswell Pty. Ltd., a company set up by Irish entrepreneur Anthony O’Reilly, principal shareholder of Independent Newspapers Plc of Ireland. On 3 November 1988 PNQ was renamed Australian Provincial Newspapers Ltd (APN).


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Revised, 21-May-2020




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