Fairfax Media is expected to cut jobs in a major editorial restructure as the company makes changes to the metro publishing business.
The company has not decided as yet many jobs will be shed or from what sections. A month long consultation process with staff started today in Sydney and Melbourne and will continue tomorrow in Canberra, Brisbane and Perth.
The changes will affect The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times and WAToday and are expected to deliver the company $30 million in annualised savings, the company announced to the ASX this morning.
In a letter to staff, managing director of metro publishing Chris Janz said the changes involve “tough decisions” as the company reshapes the “legacy model of traditional media into a more streamlined organisation”.
“The changes announced today will prepare us for a stronger future, with a business focused on growth and innovation, and an unwavering commitment to quality, independent journalism,” Mr Janz said in this morning’s announcement.
The proposed changes include new editing and news planning workflows, along with a flatter editorial structure.
Final decisions are expected to be made by the end of April.
Mr Janz said the changes were required to secure the future of the mastheads.
“The primary focus of Fairfax Media over recent years has been to lay the groundwork for the creation of a sustainable publishing model. We are now within reach of that goal,” he said.
“Our publications will be genuine digital businesses with the capabilities and cost base to best operate in the current media environment. We will be introducing an innovative mix of new products to deliver our audience focused, quality journalism and maximise our revenue opportunities.
“We will continue to print for many years, so long as our newspapers have an audience and advertisers.”
Mr Janz was appointed head of Fairfax metro publishing in February, with the restructure his first major move.
After doubt circulated at the beginning of the year regarding the future of the print business, Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood reaffirmed the company’s commitment to print when reporting the company’s first half results on February 22.