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Fairfax Media Cuts 125 Newsroom Jobs

Fairfax Media Cuts 125 Newsroom Jobs

Fairfax will lay off about 25% of its metro journalists in an effort to deliver $30 million in cost reductions.

The company’s Australian Metro Media editorial director Sean Aylmer announced that 125 full-time equivalent jobs will be cut as part of a voluntary redundancy program, including ten staff who have already left the company.

Fairfax’s masthead newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review will be affected, as well as its Brisbane Times and WAToday websites.

“While we will be looking across all parts of the newsroom, at the end of the redundancy program we expect there will be significantly fewer editorial management, video, presentation and section writer roles,” Aylmer said in an email to staff (via Mumbrella).

Alongside the voluntary redundancy program, Aylmer said Fairfax plans to achieved the proposed $30 million in savings by reviewing third-party deals (including syndication arrangements) and introducing a capped rate for contributors to its three mastheads with a shift to paying per article rather than per word.

Casual positions at the three mastheads will also be reduced “signficantly according to Alylmer, which will deliver an estimated $3 million in savings per year

In response to the news, Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance CEO Paul Murphy said Fairfax had made a “dumb decision”.

“None of the other parts of the Fairfax business are worth anything without the journalism and yet it is the journalism that Fairfax always cuts… This will only undermine and damage its mastheads further, alienating its audience and leaving the editorial staff remain have to work harder and harder to fill the gaps.,” Murphy said.

Fairfax staff have from tomorrow until Tuesday to volunteer for redundancy.

UPDATE: Staff from The Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age and The Australian Financial Review will strike for one week in response to the job cuts, which will affect Fairfax Media’s coverage of the federal budget next Tuesday.

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