News Corp Australia will lay off hundreds of staff and stop printing the bulk of its newspaper titles in a major shakeup

News Corp is stopping the presses on many of its community and regional titles. (Todd Korol, Toronto Star via Getty Images)
  • One of Australia’s largest media businesses is expected to axe hundreds of jobs as it ceases printing many of its community and regional newspapers.
  • Instead, the bulk of them will be digital-only titles from June 29, with only major regional and inner-city titles surviving in print, alongside its metropolitan mastheads.
  • In a statement, executive chairman Michael Miller attributed the decision to a decline in print advertising “which contributes the majority of our revenues”.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

One of Australia’s largest media companies will stop the printing presses for good on many of its titles.

News Corp will begin launching large-scale redundancy rounds from Thursday as it looks to cut costs and go digital during the global coronavirus pandemic.

“COVID-19 has impacted the sustainability of community and regional publishing,” executive chairman Michael Miller said in a statement.

Miller said that despite digital audience growth, “print advertising spending which contributes the majority of our revenues has accelerated its decline”.

It will see the majority of its community and regional newspapers go digital-only from June 29. Meanwhile, others will cease publication entirely including Seniors and the Gold Coast Sun.

In turn the printing presses will be saved only for its metropolitan mastheads, major regional papers like the NT News, Cairns Post, and the Geelong Advertiser, and a few titles in affluent city areas like the Wentworth Courier, Mosman Daily and North Shore Times.

It marks another major contraction in Australia’s media landscape after BuzzFeed folded its local operations earlier this month alongside 10 Daily, as advertising revenues dwindle.

News Corp had already pulled the plug on the AAP Newswire, of which it had been a major stakeholder alongside Nine, earlier this year.

It also cut 200-odd jobs from its Foxtel business, which had been kneecapped by the disappearance of sports from screen, while billionaire founder Rupert Murdoch had agreed to receive one-quarter of his annual cash bonus this year –a saving of around $2.3 million.

With News Corp having reportedly hired Deloitte consultants to advise on a business restructure last month, the big four firm’s advice appears to have simply been to cut costs, jobs and downscale.

Hopefully, Murdoch’s usual fee managed to cover their invoice.

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