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Champagne Socialist
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11,964 Posts
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http://www.theage.com.au/business/fairfax-to-shed-1900-staff-erect-paywalls-20120618-20ix1.html

Fairfax to shed 1900 staff, erect paywalls
Chris Zappone
June 18, 2012 - 9:59AM

Fairfax Media will cut 1900 staff and erect paywalls on the websites of its two main metropolitan newspapers as it adjusts to shrinking advertising revenue.
Fairfax sells part of Trade Me

Fairfax, publisher of this website, will also shift to compact-sized versions for those two newspapers, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, from the first quarter of 2013.

The job cuts will come over three years and generate annual savings of $170 million by 2015, Greg Hywood, Fairfax's chief executive officer, told staff in an announcement this morning.

Some 20 per cent on the job cuts will be in editorial, Mr Hywood said, without elaborating.

"The period ahead will be difficult as we move through the redundancies," Mr Hywood said.

The moves, part of a broader restructure occurring in the media sector, will also entail the closure of the printing facilities in Chullora, NSW and Tullamarine, Victoria by June 2014.

Shares in the Fairfax has dropped 87 per cent over the past five years, as traditional business models in media have been hit by a shift of advertising to online formats.

'Legacy' media

Fairfax said that both the SMH.com.au and theAge.com.au websites were launched when "almost all" of the metro media departments content was delivered through printed newspapers.

"They have legacy presses with significant surplus capacity which is no longer required," Mr Hywood said.

"The changes announced today have been selected after considering the merits of a full range of structural alternatives, including a demerger," said Mr Hywood. "The package of strategic initiatives is bold, and several are difficult, particularly as they will impact on some of our people."

"However, we believe that they are in the best interest of Fairfax, our shareholders, and ultimately the majority of our people," he said.

"They are necessary to ensure Fairfax retains its position as a leading independent media company and a key voice in our markets," said Mr Hywood.
More soon
 

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Premium Member
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9,526 Posts
The broadsheet has been dying off for years. Even the Times changed format a few years ago in the UK, and if it's good enough for them it should be for all others.

I was quite glad when the Courier Mail changed to a tabloid size a few years ago, it's much easier to read when in a confined space like PT, or even just spreading over a table in a cafe. They are still the same paper, I've been buying the Daily Telegraph in NSW over the past week and it truly is a tabloid, in shape and content. The Courier Mail isn't perfect, but it hasn't slunk to those depths yet. Maybe because they don't have any Fairfax competition and so try to please both ends of the market.
 

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4,103 Posts
Its the same as the West in WA. It's a tabloid in shape but the content is actually somewhere between a broadsheet and a tabloid (closer to the broadsheet end though).

I think this is the way to go for the Age and SMH, I think they also need to keep costs down by sharing as much editorial content as possible and then maybe start distrubuting papers as a daily in the other markets (SA, Qld, WA). You really only need 4-5 pages of local content to make a convincing local paper (which is mostly already being compiled by Brisbane Times and WAToday staff anyway) and the additional advertisement and circulation revenue would help cross-subsidise the main editorial offices in Sydney and Melbourne
 

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70's porn star
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6,730 Posts
It's all advertorials in those msm papers anyway. They can't upset their main sponsors. All rubbish and not much real journalism anymore. About time they just died.
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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40,696 Posts
I prefer the SMH in broadsheet format but the compact size comes handy for travelling on public transport. If they can go compact without compromising the quality of the content then that is OK.

Also I remember the Courier Mail from the days before it went compact. By the time it went compact it was a good decision because the quality of the content was not up there with what you would expect in a broadsheet.

By the way a compact newspaper refers to a broadsheet quality newspaper in the same page format as a tabloid.
 

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Read Only
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809 Posts
Happy for the smaller size, but like whats been said previously, I hope the content doesn't suffer. I'm pissed off with having a paywall for the online version though. Hopefully as a subscriber for the weekend papers i get free access included and without fucking ads taking up my time and bandwith!
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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40,696 Posts
I assume you will get whatever privileges for using online/digital editions of the paper if you are already subscribed to The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald.
 

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Environmental Busybody
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13,465 Posts
The broadsheet format is annoying, but then on the other hand is it preparing the soil for GR and her shock jock associates to turn them into tabloids :?.

Just being silly, they had to do something though I suppose.
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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40,696 Posts
2UE's John Stanley interviewed someone from Fairfax this afternoon. Apparently Broadsheet newspapers were originally designed to cater for classifieds but they are excited about the SMH going compact. They have tried some possible concepts.

With fewer classifed ads thanks to e-bay etc obviously there is less need for it.
 

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5,514 Posts
Actually, I think Fairfax might be terminal. Have you seen the 7-day subscription price?! It's hardly a discount over the cover price. Moreso when you delete the Sunday paper (the Sun Herald isn't worth 5c, I don't know if the Sunday Age is any better).

And Broadsheets weren't designed for any particular content, and they certainly pre-date classified ads. In modern press equipment, a broadsheet is trimmed from (or simply is) A1.
 

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Crazy young doge man
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2,697 Posts
But i love Broadsheet newspapers! i love sitting on public transport and pissing both people on either side of me off.

Look like now i'm going to have to act like all the kids these days and just play music outloud from my phone (because earphones are just way too uncool) to piss ***** off.
 

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Why Try Harder
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1,618 Posts
Fairfax journalists write to Rinehart
This is the text of the letter sent by Fairfax journalists to Gina Rinehart on June 7, urging her to respect the company's editorial independence policy
Dear Mrs Rinehart,

The journalists employed at Fairfax metropolitan media - The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald, The Age, The Sunday Age and The Australian Financial Review - have asked us, as their representatives, to write to you about recent reports concerning your attempts to join the board of Fairfax Media.

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Articles in The Australian newspaper in the past month have stated that a reason you were not successful in joining the board was because you declined to give undertakings you would not seek to influence the editorial content of Fairfax publications.

Whether there is any truth to these reports we do not know. That said, we would like you to know the journalists at Fairfax strongly support the long-standing practice here that we report the affairs of the country free from influence of the board and its members.

When the ownership of the company changed hands two decades ago, the Fairfax board and representatives of the journalists employed here negotiated a Charter of Editorial Independence setting our the fundamental principles upon which journalism is practised.

Underpinning the charter was the idea that the independence of Fairfax journalism under new owners would be safeguarded by setting down simple rules to ensure the newspapers report whatever issues they and their editors regard as important, free of commercial or other considerations of the board and the investors they represent.

It was a simple idea that has proved highly successful. The reputation for independence enjoyed by Fairfax publications remains unparalleled in this country thanks largely to the charter which was negotiated and signed by the company's then chairman, a former governor-general of Australia, the late Sir Zelman Cowan.

Given that history, you will understand the reports suggesting you might not support the Charter of Editorial Independence have caused considerable disquiet among staff.

We would like you to give us an assurance you do support the principles set out in the Charter of Editorial Independence and, in the event you join the Fairfax board, you will agree to uphold them.

Such an assurance would go a long way to reassuring the staff who produce the publications in which you have such a substantial investment.

We would of course be happy to discuss this or any other Fairfax issue with you should you so wish.

Yours sincerely,

Combined Herald House Committee, Sydney, Age House Committee, Melbourne, Age Independence Committee, AFR House Committee
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-business/fairfax-journalists-write-to-rinehart-20120619-20lgj.html
 

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Registered
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794 Posts
The media landscape in this country is pretty fucked. It's bad enough already that 2/3rds of Australian papers are right-wing and anti-Labor, but does it really have to be 100%? This rather unfashionable woman with a croaky voice, terrible hair, and fucked up accent who treats her family like shit is going to be responsible for creating yet another duopoly in this country, the Murdoch/Rinehart duopoly.
 

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Why Try Harder
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1,618 Posts
At least the other mob are hurting too.
News Ltd is expected to announce a major round of job cuts this morning, joining Fairfax Media in streamlining print and digital operations.
The job cuts, possibly numbering about 1000, come just two days after Fairfax Media revealed plans to lop 1900 jobs, or about one-in-five staff, over the next three years.
News is expected to hold a staff meeting at 10.30am, AEST, to reveal the job losses.
Estimates of the News jobs cuts from analysts and union officials range from 400 to 1000, with half of the cuts to come from the editorial departments.
However,
In news just in, the company has launched a bid to take over Consolidated Media Holdings and has the support for the bid from Mr Packer. ConsMedia owns a quarter of Foxtel and half of Fox Sports Australia. The AFR said a deal to buy Packer out of ConsMedia may trigger a deal worth as much as $2 billion to buy the rest of the company
http://www.theage.com.au/business/murdoch-wields-axe-and-chequebook-20120620-20mw7.html
 
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