Fairfax chief restructures operations

THE new chief executive of Fairfax Media, Brian McCarthy, has put his stamp on the organisation with a management shake-up and restructure announced this afternoon.

He has grouped the business units around core functions, ending a structure under previous CEO David Kirk in which some worked autonomously.

Arguably the most significant move is to have what Mr McCarthy called a “new framework of co-operation across print and online”.

He told staff in an internal memo that he would bring the online sites – Drive, My Career and Domain – under a combined print and online model in all their markets. The move was a result of “listening to customers” and would provide “better customer service”.

Support functions, such as trade marketing and promotion, would be “optimised”, he said.

In the internal memo, he said Fairfax Media had “many strengths… excellent brands, strong circulations, growing audiences and talented staff”.

He noted the company was diversified across print, digital and radio. “This has helped us withstand the present economic conditions and will help us benefit from the upturn when it comes,” he told staff.

Mr McCarthy said he had not needed to bring in anyone external to shore up the management team, saying this “shows the strength and depth” within the organisation.

One of the major changes is the appointment of Allen Williams to be publisher of Fairfax New Zealand – the country’s second largest publisher after APN News and Media. Mr Williams, who is treasurer of PANPA, succeds Ms Joan Withers, who announced her retirement last week. She leaves in July.

Key Appointments:

Lloyd Whish-Wilson – Sydney Publishing
Don Churchill – Melbourne Publishing
Jack Matthews – Fairfax Digital
Bob Lockley – Printing and Logistics
Michael Gill – Fairfax Business Media
Allan Browne – Australian Regional Publishing
Grant Cochrane – Agricultural Publishing
Allen Williams – New Zealand Publishing
Ken Nichols – Regional NSW / ACT Publishing
Graham Mott – Radio

The key corporate roles go to:
Gail Hambly – Group General Counsel and Company Secretary
Brian Cassell – CFO
Tim Mannes – IT Manager
Frank Reed – Training and Development
Michelle Williams – HR
Phil McLean – Group Executive Editor

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