As Fairfax Media announced it’s slashing 35% of its New Zealand newspapers in today’s interim financial report, the company made it clear it is open to a deal with its rival legacy media company, News Corp. CEO Greg Hywood revealed the bad news for the Kiwis while declaring that any deal “will be in the best interests of our shareholders”. That however is what previous Fairfax managers asserted whenever they did a dud deal, such as the loss-making takeover of Rural Press. But the bottom line from today’s report is that the board is open to overtures, with perhaps Fairfax being the mover rather than the receiver, as it was last year with the nibbles from bottom-feeding US private equity sharks.

Hywood left the very strong impression that Fairfax is open to offers from prospective dance partners, saying that the company’s “balance sheet is strong, with a net cash position for Fairfax’s 100%-owned entities”.