dozens of community newspapers across Australia may cease publication for a period of time as owner of regional titles Australian Community Media attempts to soften the economic blow of COVID-19.
ACM executive chairman Antony Catalano (featured) told employees in a staff email that from Monday the business would cease printing in Canberra, Tamworth, Wodonga and Murray Bridge until the end of June 2020.
It remains unclear which or how many mastheads will be affected by the suspension.
Catalano said some of the regional papers would offer a small amount of coverage while the ACM’s 14 daily papers would continue publication.
ACM publishes over 60 newspapers across Australia, and it is understood the move from Catalano will result in some employees being stood down.
Last week, the federal government announced its plans to release $5 million from its $48 million Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund to aid community media businesses to get through the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, ACM and regional broadcaster are not eligible for these funds.
The move follows News Corps’ decision last week to suspend the printing of 60 community titles in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia from April 9.
The community mastheads will continue to publish digitally with reporters and photographers expanding News Corp’s hyper-local news coverage for consumers across Australia.
Regional and community media are not the only ones affected by the coronavirus, with countless big players like Seven West Media, Nine, oOh! Media, Southern Cross Austereo and more announcing cost-cutting measures to help survive the COVID-19 crisis.
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