Burnet, (James) Alan


(James) Alan Burnet

Alan Burnet can thank Rupert Murdoch for his spectacular career in newspaper publishing and management. It was Murdoch who, having acquired a stake in the Wellington Publishing Company, was responsible for Burnet's appointment as general manager in 1964.

Burnet, an accountant, had been general manager of his home-town newspaper,the Wanganui Chronicle. His move to Wellington would ultimately change the course of the New Zealand newspaper industry.

Burnet moved quickly to protect the Dominion against possible takeovers by a series of skilful mergers and acquisitions that formed the basis of what would become the giant Independent Newspapers group (INL).

INL's assets were acquired in 2003 by Australia's John Fairfax Holdings for nearly $1.2 billion.