Satirical SBS show pokes fun at Fairfax following drastic job cuts

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 7 April 2017
"I smell Walkleys"

Light-hearted SBS news show The Feed has taken a satirical swipe at Fairfax Media following news it will axe more journalist jobs to save $30 million this year. 

In the parody clip, comedian Mark Humphries has taken on a new role of managing director of Fairfax. 

Humphries begins by announcing Fairfax's new "sustainable business model".

"Now you might be wondering, how do we make $30 million worth of cuts, while still maintaining our commitment to high-quality journalism. Well, just wait and till you see our new agile newsroom," he says.

Humphries then opens what looks to be a janitor’s closet to reveal journalists sitting in the dark working from their laptops.

“Remember guys, ‘who, what, when’… Unfortunately we’ve had to let go of ‘where’ and ‘why’," he says.

Moving across the office, Humphries says: “If you loved Kate McClymont's investigations of corrupt politicians, wait ‘till you see our branded investigation of the all new Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain wagon.”

One journalist turns to the camera and pleas: “Please subscribe so we don’t have to write this shit”.

Humphries says the cuts won’t impact the quality of its news - a message Fairfax conveyed when it announced the changes to The Age and The SMH.

“We may be getting more efficient, but we’re no less committed to quality. Just ask anyone around the office,” he says.

He then asks three journalists what they are working on, which they reveal to be Bachelor and Married at First Sight recaps.

Humphries says: “I smell Walkleys!”

“Journalism is changing. We’ve got to adapt. We recently embraced standing desks. Saved a fortune on stands. We need to ask ourselves hard questions. Like can we outsource all of subediting to Declan the intern?

“Look, we know some of these changes are going to be tough to swallow. But rest assured, we’re never going to cut back on what our readers love most: upper management.” 

This isn't the first time SBS has spoofed others in the media, also recreating the controversial content series from Coopers, the awkward recruitment video from the Department of Finance and Pepsi's recent ad starring Kendall Jenner.

A Fairfax Media spokesperson has responded saying: “We are glad we have been able to fire Mark’s creativity.”

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