More changes and cost cuts at Fairfax as digital drive continues

Fairfax Media is expected to announce a restructure and management overhaul this week as it continues to cut costs and make the business transition from print to a predominantly digital future.

Fairfax Media is expected to announce a restructure and management overhaul this week as it continues to cut costs and make the business transition from print to a predominantly digital future.

A Fairfax spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday about any changes at the owner of The Age and publisher of the Herald, which are expected to result in business units being merged and further cost-cutting initiatives.

At the half-year results in February, chief executive Greg Hywood said the company would be pursuing "additional structural initiatives and cost savings" beyond those announced in the Fairfax of the Future program in June last year.

"We're taking a fresh look at territories once considered sacred cows and smashing silos that long seemed untouchable," he told an analyst briefing at the time.

The half-year results announcement included the Financial Review Group being folded into the results of Fairfax's metropolitan media business for the first time.

Under the Fairfax of the Future program, about 1900 jobs, equating to 20 per cent of the workforce, will be cut over three years and the company's largest printing facilities in Sydney and Melbourne will be closed as the group combats structural changes and a prolonged downturn in media advertising.

Recent initiatives included changing the Herald and The Age to compact formats last month.

A digital subscription model will also be introduced in the June quarter.

Mr Hywood has said the company will "continue to be in print while it's profitable".

In February, the group upgraded targeted cost savings from the Fairfax of the Future program from $235 million to $251 million by next June when the full impact of the initiatives becomes effective.

The company also warned core advertising continued to be weak, with revenue for the six weeks to early February down 9 per cent to 10 per cent on the previous year.

Related Articles