Monday, June 18, 2012

Slash and burn at the Age newspaper

from w
This was expected as we no longer can sustain so much paper being used for throwaway to recycling. The broadsheet ought to have gone tabloid size long ago for convenience and who bothered to read three quarters of it anyway.  The internet news has taken over but is free so they'll soon be charging I guess.  But there will be tears for some people who love to read a daily paper, hold it in their hands, browse as they wished.  Not everyone has a computer and internet also.  Anyway this is how one media outlet told the story. Mediaspy.  Is the Geelong Advertiser part of this company?

Cutting deep: Fairfax to axe 1,900 staff, downsize papers and erect paywalls

In its Monday morning announcement, Fairfax said that it hoped to save $235 million a year by 2015 as a result of its multi-pronged overhaul, which will see total job losses of around 1,900. In earlier announcements of cost-cutting measures, the company had projected annual savings of $170 million from its "Fairfax of the Future" review. The downsizing spree will cut deep. Fairfax will close its printing presses at Chullora (NSW) and Tullamarine (Victoria) by mid-2014, while around 150 to 200 editorial staff at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald will be among the employees to be shown the door between now and 2015. The company claimed that despite the editorial cuts, the company was committed to "continued investment in quality journalism".

)Fairfax Media will slash nearly two thousand staff over the next three years, shift its major metropolitan newspapers from broadsheets to a compact format, and put the online editions of those papers behind paywalls as part of its efforts to cut costs and move the company to a "digital-first" orientation.
Meanwhile, The Age and the Herald will move to a tabloid-sized "compact" format from March next year, described by Fairfax as "more accessible and convenient" and an option favoured by readers.
Fairfax also announced that it would follow News Limited's lead by introducing paywalls for its two major metropolitan broadsheets, starting in the first quarter of next year; precise details of the subscription model will be made available by the end of the year.

With online "reach" now substantially larger than its print readership, the introduction of paywalls represents an attempt by Fairfax to monetise its popular but as yet unprofitable digital presence. In its announcement, the company suggested that it would be adopting a New York Times-style "metered" payment model - also known as a "soft" paywall - whereby readers can access a certain number of free articles before being asked to purchase a subscription.


Greg Hywood, Fairfax's chief executive and managing director, portrayed the sweeping overhaul as "bold" but "difficult, particularly as they will impact on some of our people". He said that changes to the group's business structure and operations were necessary in the face of "challenging times" for traditional media in Australia.

"Readers' behaviours have changed and will not change back. As as result, we are taking decisive actions to fundamentally change the way we do business," he said.

Fairfax has lost 85 per cent of its market value in the past five years, and the strategic shift is widely regarded as long overdue, if not too late altogether. Investors reacted swiftly and with relief in response to the company's announcement, sending shares in the company up by more than seven per cent at the close.


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2:42 AM  

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