Fairfax is still advertising new roles internally as its voluntary redundancy scheme opens today as part of the media company's wide-scale restructure.
The new positions are associated with the Editorial Newsroom Review which has seen a different newsroom model rolled out from this month. Fairfax Metro Media group editorial director Garry Linnell told AdNews Fairfax’s newsroom restructure had been planned for some time and had nothing to do with cost-cutting.
“It was never about head-count,” Linnell said. “It was all done in-house and the journalists worked on it themselves. The newsroom [overhaul] and the number-shaving taking place as part of the [company-wide] restructure are two different projects.”
Of the new roles, Linnell said: “They're only advertised internally. I'm pretty confident most jobs will be filled internally. We have great people here.
Linnell said the general view in the newsroom was: ‘Can we just get on with it?’
Linnell said 150 voluntary redundancies packages are being made available and will be open for a month. He said compulsory redundancies will only happen after the voluntary round is over.
He added: “We estimate it will take six to nine months to get most of the working model up and running. There will probably be fine-tuning for twelve months.”
Fairfax’s newsrooms, Linnell insists, will merely be made more efficient despite the redundancies. Linnell said the aim was to make Fairfax’s newsrooms “fast and agile” with a flatter management structure so journalists can react to news quickly.
The role of newspapers is also changing at Fairfax, as both Linnell and Fairfax Metro Media chief operations officer David Hoath insist the print mastheads will increasingly become the home of long-form investigative journalism.
“Newspapers can still ‘break’ news by uncovering investigative stories,” Hoath said. “The Age has won many awards for investigative journalism and exposed some big stories in last couple of years.
“With investigative journalism, you deliver stories no one else has got whiff of."