Fairfax Media has announced new cuts to its editorial operations aimed at delivering about $30 million in annual savings.
The major structural overhaul will affect newsrooms at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times and WAToday.
Managing director of Fairfax’s Australian Metro Publishing division, Chris Janz, said the proposed changes are required to “secure” the futures of its metropolitan mastheads.
“The primary focus of Fairfax Media over recent years has been to lay the groundwork for the creation of a sustainable publishing model. We are now within reach of that goal,” Mr Janz said in a statement.
“Our publications will be genuine digital businesses with the capabilities and cost base to best operate in the current media environment.”
Mr Janz said the majority of the savings are expected in 2017/18.
He also committed Fairfax to print publishing “for many years”, saying it would remain part of the company’s mix “so long as our newspapers have an audience and advertisers”.
The restructuring announcement comes less than two months after Fairfax confirmed it was conducting a strategic review of its Domain real estate listing business, with a possible float on the Australian Securities Exchange by the end of 2017.
Fairfax said at the time it would retain a 60 to 70 per cent stake in Domain, preserving a valuable revenue stream while opening the business up to further investment.
Fairfax journalists are being briefed on the proposed restructuring changes on Wednesday.
Initially, the restructuring news lifted Fairfax’s share price two cents to $1.065 but at 1133 AEST the stock was flat at $1.045.