Strike threats but Guardian expansion set

THE Guardian has reportedly appointed its deputy editor as the head of its online expansion into Australia, just days after journalists at the British newspaper voted to go on strike if voluntary editorial redundancies become compulsory.

THE Guardian has reportedly appointed its deputy editor as the head of its online expansion into Australia, just days after journalists at the British newspaper voted to go on strike if voluntary editorial redundancies become compulsory.

Katharine Viner, who joined the newspaper in 1997, was set to lead a Guardian Australia team that would work in collaboration with Graeme Wood, the founder of accommodation website Wotif.com and backer of non-profit, online media venture The Global Mail, the London Evening Standard reported.

A spokeswoman for The Guardian would not comment on the report, only saying in a statement to AAP: "As The Guardian's reach grows it's natural that we continually explore a wide range of opportunities and partnerships."

In Britain The Guardian's publisher - Guardian News & Media - said it was set to axe 68 editorial jobs to save £7 million ($10.8 million) from its annual editorial budget.

The company called for voluntary redundancies but said just over 30 staff came forward, increasing the likelihood that it would have to turn to compulsory job cuts. The voluntary redundancy scheme closed on Friday.

Journalists at The Guardian and its Sunday newspaper The Observer voted last week to go on strike if compulsory redundancies were put in place.

This week, Fairfax Media confirmed it was moving ahead with the sale of its 51 per cent stake in Trade Me to institutional investors at about $3.05 a share, yielding $616 million.

The sale of Trade Me was expected to cut Fairfax's net debt to below $200 million.

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