The history of newspapers in Opotiki...


1883 Opotiki Herald
Established by Mr Stewart Bates. Mr Peter Crawford ran the Opotiki Herald from 1903-1931. The Herald ceased operation in 1937 (followed shortly by the Guardian).

1889 Opotiki Mail
Gave Opotiki two newspapers. Ceased publication in 1891.

1900 East Coast Guardian
Established by Arthur Kenrick Hayward and sold to William Bramwell Scott in 1904. It was a tri-weekly until 1925 and then for 5 years it was a daily. In 1936 it amalgamated with a Whakatane newspaper - The Bay of Plenty Press, but this venture failed.

1938 Opotiki News
This newspaper was founded in 1938 by Mr F H Roe and W R Payne. It was a free newspaper with a circulation of 125. It later became a paid newspaper with a cover price of threepence.
In 1962 it changed from a broadsheet to a tabloid sized newspaper.
1961 - Frank Roe sold his share to Mr Gillies-Smith and Ernie Wells.
1965 - Mr Gillies-Smith sold his interest to W R Payne and Ernie Wells
1967 - Mr Payne died and his son-in-law Jon Tilley, George Cooper and Ernie Wells took over, all with equal shares. Ernie Wells later left the company and Jon and George were left in partnership.
1983 - David and Raewyn Kitching purchased the total shareholding.
1988 - The Kitchings sold to Stuart and Beth Dunlop and the Daily Post (Rotorua) owned half the business each.
1996 - The Opotiki News ownership changed to The Beacon Printing & Publishing Co Ltd, who are the present owners.