Fairfax's community media division to cut 80 jobs

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 11 March 2015

Fairfax Media's Australian Community Media (ACM) division is said to be cutting up to 80 full-time positions across Victoria as part of an 18-month proposed overhaul of the division.

A story appeared on the websites of the papers affected at 11:30 am this morning, with the headline “Modern news plan for regional Victoria”. Fairfax regional papers The Border Mail, The Courier, Bendigo Advertiser and The Standard all ran the story.

The story says that, if the proposal goes ahead Fairfax expects voluntary redundancies of about 80 full-time equivalent positions across Victoria. This includes 62 editorial roles such as management, sub-editing and photography. Administration and some sales positions will also be affected.

In the piece ACM director John Angilley said Fairfax's Victorian publications will remain the most trusted source of news and information in the communities they serve.

“Our Victorian publications will have journalists, photographers and sales teams working with new skills, capabilities and resources so they can continue to do what they do best – create quality journalism and connect advertisers to our audiences – well into the future,” Angilley said.

“Our sales teams will be equipped with new technology and trained in using best-of-breed sales solutions so they can spend more time delivering on customer needs.
“Journalists will report local news across multi-media, as well as be trained to write headlines, captions and fact-boxes,” he said. “Quality-checking processes and procedures will be in place and our editors will remain responsible for managing risk and maintaining editorial standards.”
As part of the overhaul, all mastheads in Victoria would be redesigned, revitalised and made easier to read. The story said that no newspapers or websites would close.

Of the cuts Angilley said: “Our full focus and attention in the weeks ahead is consulting with our staff in Victoria to ensure everyone fully understands the proposal and has the opportunity to share their feedback with us.

“No final decisions have been made. It remains business as usual in other parts of our business,” he said.

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