News Ltd cuts back Australian operations
Wed, 20 Jun 2012 4:05p.m.
Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd will slash its operations along Australia's east coast in a move that is expected to lead to major job cuts.
News Ltd's international parent company News Corp holds 44 percent of Sky TV in New Zealand.
Chief executive Kim Williams on Wednesday began outlining to staff the extent of a major shake-up at Australia's biggest newspaper publisher.
While he is yet to confirm how many jobs will go, Mr Williams reaffirmed the company's commitment to its newspapers, which include The Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun and The Australian.
"We believe in print and are committed to print," The Australian website reported Mr Williams as telling senior News Ltd executives.
"We are obviously not going to be pollyannas about that.
"But we still sell around 11 million newspapers a week. Advertisers still find huge value in print."
Mr Williams is due to address News Ltd staff across Australia in a video message at 3:45pm (NZT).
As part of the restructure, News Ltd will cut its eastern seaboard operations from 19 to five.
Mr Williams declined to put a number on redundancies, but hoped most job losses could be achieved by way of natural attrition.
The five remaining News divisions will be News NSW, News Qld, News Victoria, The Australian and NewsLifeMedia, the company formerly known as News Magazines.
News' digital operations, News Digital Media, will be incorporated into the new divisions.
The new divisions replace The Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne, Queensland Newspapers and Nationwide News in Sydney.
The move is designed to centralise News' editorial, sales, marketing, finance and administrative operations, the company says.
Details of the restructure follow moves by rival Fairfax Media to undertake its own major shake-up which will lead to 1,900 job losses in three years.
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