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Fairfax Media to slash 1,900 jobs in three years

Press Trust of India  |  Sydney/New Delhi 

Apart from job cut, Fairfax announced four major changes to its business which includes reducing its main newspapers 'The Sydney Morning Herald' and 'The Age' into a compact form.

Besides, the company would also close its two major printing facilities in Chullora and Tullamarine by 2014. It would restructure its editorial function to integrate print and digital platforms and would also introduce online paid subscriptions in a bid to save costs.

"Current progress is ahead of schedule, and we will now move to further accelerate implementation of the cost savings previously identified together with a number of additional cost-saving initiatives," Fairfax said.

"In aggregate, this will result in a reduction in staff of 1,900 over the next three years," it added.

The move, together with closing of its printing facilities, is expected to increase its savings to USD 235 million annually by 2015. Of the total, USD 215 will be achieved by June 2014.

"The changes announced today have been selected after considering the merits of a full range of structural alternatives, including a demerger. The package of strategic initiatives is bold, and several are difficult, particularly as they will impact on some of our people," Fairfax Media CEO and Managing Director Greg Hywood said.

The 170-year-old publisher will also introduce paid digital subscriptions to access online content from next year, and promote a digital first strategy aimed at capturing the online market amid reduced print readership and a growing digital business.

'The Sydney Morning Herald' and 'The Age' now attract seven million unique users every month. This represents a 25 per cent increase over the last five years, with around 65 per cent of all readers of publications now accessing via online, tablet, smartphone or smart TV.

"The evolution of 'The Sydney Morning Herald' and 'The Age' to compact formats and the implementation of digital subscriptions for these mastheads are landmark events for Fairfax," Hywood said.


First Published: Mon, June 18 2012. 20:36 IST