Fairfax to slash up to 70 editorial jobs

Fairfax to slash up to 70 editorial jobs
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Fairfax is set to slash 70 from numerous areas of its business, including its award-winning photographic section as the publisher moves to outsource work to contributors such as Getty Images.

Thirty-five jobs are expected to be cut from editorial production, Life Media will see 15 positions go and the photographic section will lose 30 positions.

Allen Williams, managing director of Fairfax Media’s Australian Publishing Media, emailed staff today outlining the various proposed changes, which aim to allow Fairfax the “continuing transformation of our business”.

Williams’ email outlines how the contract with Pagemasters who worked across the copy-editing sections for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times will expire soon and how Fairfax “are in the process of reviewing these external arrangements”.

“Any new arrangements will absorb more copy-editing and page layout work,” the email states. “As a result, we propose to reduce our in-house editorial production team by about 35 FTEs [full-time employees] in Sydney and Melbourne no later than December 2014.”

Ten of these reductions will see the jobs move to other areas of Fairfax.

The email also states new arrangements for the magazine arm of Fairfax Media, Life Media, anticipating a reduction of around 15 FTEs.

APM will also see a higher use of Getty Images for photographic assignments, reducing the photographic staff by 30 FTEs.

The email states: “The proposed changes would see a reduction of approximately 30 FTEs, retaining approximately 10 staff photographers and approximately 10 photo desk staff who would work as part of a merged visuals commissioning desk. There would be significantly less use of casuals and contributors engaged directly by Fairfax.”

Williams’ email says Fairfax has already advised the MEAA (Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance) of the proposed changes and Fairfax are expected to be in a better position to advise the next steps on May 14.

B&T contacted Fairfax for additional commentary but is yet to hear back.

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