Fairfax job cuts 'secure health' of the industry - Hywood

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 11 May 2016
Fairfax strike

Fairfax Media boss Greg Hywood says redundancies are vital to secure the "health of the industry".

Yesterday, Fairfax Media told staff it would carry out the forced redundancies of 30 employees across the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Australian Financial Review. Later that day, staff issued a 'no confidence' motion towards management, but did not go on strike.

Hywood, who was addressing the media at a NewsMediaWorks announcement, said he was “not aware” of the no-confidence motion and "feels for everyone involved".

“The industry is changing - people source their news and information in different ways. The decisions we make reflect consumer habits,” Hywood says.

“The economics are very different to what they were. If we don’t respond with, at times, tough decisions, we won’t secure the sort of journalism we will value down the track.

“No one likes redundancies, but you have to secure the long term health of the industry.”

This morning, staff at Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review passed a no-confidence motion in 

fairfax meaaOne journalist questioned whether Fairfax was becoming a real estate publisher with a news arm, emphasising that ongoing redundancies to editorial staff could damage Fairfax's brand.

Hywood said publisher continues to focus on the quality of journalism it produces.

“The model changes, the numbers change, but our commitment doesn't change. Our investment into making sure that continues has not and will not change,” he said.

In March, Fairfax announced it would cut 120 editorial jobs from news and business across newspapers. This led to staff walk outs. The MEAA is now working with the staff to ensure they are being given a “fair go”.

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