Fairfax's Canberra Times goes compact; jobs to go

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 31 March 2016

The Canberra Times is set to become the latest Fairfax paper to go compact, with the publisher's other papers across the region to also undergo a redesign.

The Canberra Times, which is part of Fairfax Media’s Australian Community Media (ACM) division, will see its publication go completely compact from the middle of this year, with several of its sections already being presented in the same format. The move follows its stablemate's The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, which went compact in 2013.

The redesign also sees a restructure, with voluntary redundancies of approximately 12 full-time positions expected across Fairfax's ACT publishing operations.

The proposed changes are part of ACM’s continuing transformation of its community publishing operations, which has affected titles such as The Border Mail, The Courier, Bendigo Advertiser and The Newcastle Herald. The transformation has seen new digital first processes put in place in the newsrooms for both sales and editorial teams, but it has also seen substantial job losses.

Director of ACM, John Angilley, says: “We are committed to providing local coverage for Canberra readers by embracing change to ensure The Canberra Times remains the most trusted source of news and information in the community.

“By modernising our newsrooms and better focusing our resources we are strengthening The Canberra Times , which this year celebrates its 90th year delivering quality local journalism to the local community.”

The changes will also see publishing operations in Goulburn, Bowral, Queanbeyan, Yass, Crookwell and Braidwood equipped with the same digital first publishing systems that its counterparts in Victoria and Newcastle now use.

Under the plan the Queanbeyan Age will also be merged with the Queanbeyan edition of The Chronicle and relaunched as a new look free weekly newspaper, and the Cooma Monaro Express and the Summit Sun at Jindabyne would no longer be published.

“Our full focus and attention in the weeks ahead is on consulting with our staff to ensure everybody fully understands the proposal and has the opportunity to share their feedback with us,” Angilley added.

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