Staff Merger At Two Of Australia's Famous Women's Magazines Pits Big-Name Editors Against Each Other

Sharri MarksonCleo editor Sharri Markson / Twitter

Journalists at Cleo and Dolly magazines will soon be writing for both as Bauer Media moves to create one newsroom.

The consolidation is expected to mean a loss of writing staff.

The proposed structure involves only one editor-in-chief, most likely to emerge from the current two: Dolly’s Tiffany Dunk, and Cleo’s Sharri Markson.

Who gets the gig may say a lot about the future style and tone of both titles. Dolly is aimed at youth and tends toward shorter stories. Cleo, serving an older market looking for women’s lifestyle, has been doing more depth articles.

The change is expected late in 2014.

Bauer CEO Matthew Stanton says Cleo and Dolly are evolving to meet the needs of a target audience which is itself rapidly changing.

“In such a dynamic environment, it makes sense to bring the staff creating these young women’s lifestyle titles together,” he says.

There is a trend in mainstream media to consolidate newsrooms, or establish central resources feeding multiple titles, to save costs.

The number of journalists in Australia fell 16 per cent in the year to August, according to Consultancy Economic and Market Development Advisors.

The union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, estimates 1,500 journalist jobs have been cut by major media outlets over the last 18 months and that the number of newsroom staff has halved over six years.

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