With news it had to pay $200,000 to treasurer Joe Hockey in a failed defamation case 10 days ago comes a possible bigger sting to Fairfax’s struggling bottom line.
The recent federal government decision that no longer requires that government job ads need to be advertised externally could mean a loss of up to $30 million in revenues to Fairfax publications.
Stats by research firm Citi Research and published in News Corp media today said the decision could see a 10 per cent decline in metro print advertising for Fairfax.
In a recent edict from the Australian Public Service Commission it said that governmental postings and public service postings no longer had to be advertised externally. Many government websites already have their own “careers” sections where potential applicants can apply for positions.
“Advertising vacancies in external media is at the discretion of the agency head, subject to any relevant government policies on advertising,” the notice said.
Citi media analyst Justin Diddams said Fairfax was the “most vulnerable” of the metro papers to take a hit because its masthead The Australian Financial Review attracted a fair swathe of the public ad spend for job placements. However, News’ The Australian would also not be immune to the changes.
Diddams said: “We estimate that Fairfax derived about $45m from print employment classifieds (across regional and metro) in FY15. Our analysis of Fairfax’s newspapers job advertisements suggests that about 60 per cent of listings is government related, of which 25 per cent are federal jobs and 35 per cent are state jobs.”
In a further blow to the struggling print titles it is believed that state governments will soon follow suit and ditch their employment advertising in mainstream metro newspapers too.