Nine cancels Pagemasters deal, brings sub-editors back in-house

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 10 May 2019

Nine is ending its deal with design and sub-editing service Pagemasters, which it partly owns, and will bring its editorial production back in-house across its Sydney and Melbourne newspapers. 

Nine’s titles The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), The Australian Financial Review (AFR) and The Age will hire more staff over the coming months in a move the publisher says is aimed at lifting the quality of its journalism. 

The deal in 2011 between Pagemasters and Fairfax Media, which owned the mastheads at the time, meant a reported 82 jobs were cut. However, now Nine says it will bring in the equivalent of 24 new roles as it brings in all aspects of editorial production in-house.

Pagemasters, with operations in Ausralia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada, is owned by Australian Associated Press. The national news agency is jointly owned by Nine (47%), News Corp Australia (45%) and Seven West Media (8%). 

“This decision is warmly welcomed by the Financial Review as we believe it will allow us to redouble our efforts to build cross-platform production expertise and boost the quality of our products for subscribers,” AFR editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury says.

The SMH and Age says it will hire 14 new staff over the coming months and welcomed the move to bring subediting back to its newsrooms.

“Having almost all aspects of editorial production back in-house will better enable us to raise the quality of our journalism for readers and subscribers,” says executive editor James Chessell.

“We are now in control of our own destiny as far as production is concerned. This change represents a great opportunity for our newsroom. It reflects the importance of The Age and The Herald’s journalism as well as the mastheads’ strong financial position.”

Pagemasters will continue to provide some production services to the papers, covering racing pages, TV listing, advertising feature page layouts and comment moderation,

The new teams of sub-editors are expected to be in place by 30 September.

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