Fairfax Media has announced it will slash 125 of its editorial staff – 20 per cent of the workforce – from its major Australian mastheads.
The newsrooms affected include the The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times and WAToday and the jobs will go via voluntary redundancy.
The job losses were first mooted back in early April and were part of a plan by the publisher to slash its editorial budget by $30 million per annum. The publisher also has plans to cut its casual workforce, cap rates for contributors (who will be paid per article, not per word) and reduce the cost of its syndication arrangements.
Fairfax is desperately trying to rein in costs to appease its vocal shareholders, and also has plans to close the weekday print editions of its mastheads.
In a statement to staff today, Fairfax editorial director, Australia metro media, Sean Aylmer, said: “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.”
And it’s a tough time to be working on a major newspaper. A month ago, News Corp announced it would slash the number of photographers on staff, rumoured to be as many as 70 across the country.