Thirteen full-time equivalent positions will be cut from Fairfax’s two Tasmanian newspapers as part of the company’s ongoing restructure of its Australian Community Media (ACM) division.
Fairfax announced the voluntary redundancies for The Examiner and The Advocate last week along with plans to invest in new technology, a new digital-first publishing system and a refresh of its newspaper design.
“We are committed to providing coverage of the local communities we serve and by better focusing our resources we will strengthen our newspapers and websites for the future,” director of ACM, John Angilley, said.
“Our journalists and our sales teams will work with new skills, capabilities and resources so they can continue to do what they do best – create quality journalism and connect advertisers to our audiences.”
Eight of the redundancies are expected to come from editorial, however consultation with employees has begun and Mr Angilley said no final decisions have been made.
Last week’s announcement is part of Fairfax’s 18-month plan to overhaul ACM, which has so far affected its mastheads in regional Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the south-west and Illawarra regions of NSW.
Business manager of Fairfax’s Tasmanian operation, Janine Buesnel, briefed staff last Thursday on the proposal for The Advertiser and The Examiner.
“We must embrace change to ensure our Tasmanian mastheads remain the most trusted source of news and information for years to come,” Mrs Buesnel said.
Fairfax is more than halfway through the ACM restructuring process which has seen the rollout of its new editorial model, NewsNow.
NewsNow includes a new content management system where journalists can report across multiple platforms, publish straight to the web and into newspaper page templates. Journalist are also being trained to write headlines, captions and take photographs.
Group managing editor of Fairfax Tasmania, Mark Baker said journalists at The Examiner and The Advocate would continue to break stories and set the news agenda in their regions.
“This evolution of our newsrooms and the way we produce our newspapers and websites will give our journalists new tools and skills to keep regional journalism strong in Tasmania,” Mr Baker said.