Staff were told this morning of a proposed of a new “magazine publication” as part of a communities restructure, resulting in the closure of the Hills News, Rouse Hill Courier, Penrith City Gazette, St Marys/Mt Druitt Star, Blacktown Sun and Parramatta Holroyd Sun.
John Angilley, director of Australian Community Media, said the changes reflected the limited long term sustainability of the mastheads.
“The six newspapers affected by this proposal have done a good job serving their local communities,” he said.
“The teams working on these papers have served their customers and audiences with professionalism and pride. But a detailed assessment of the long-term viability of these mastheads shows they are no longer commercially sustainable for us to operate.”
Little is known about the magazine at this time, but a Fairfax spokesperson said: “Our priority at the moment is our staff and consulting with them about the proposed changes. Details of the title, content, format and distribution strategy of the magazine are still being finalised and we will talk more about it at the appropriate time.”
Australian Community Media will now oversee 10 Sydney mastheads, reduced from 16. The remaining titles include: The St George & Sutherland Shire Leader, Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser, Camden-Narellan Advertiser, Wollondilly Advertiser, Blue Mountains Gazette, Hawkesbury Gazette, Hawkesbury Courier, Liverpool City Champion and Fairfield City Champion.
It is unclear whether the magazine format will be rolled out across the rest of Sydney.
Eleven jobs will be lost in this most recent restructure proposal, including seven editorial and four sales roles which will be open to voluntary redundancy. Earlier this year, the restructure saw 250 roles reduced within the metro publishing division.