Fairfax NZ flags more jobs to go

AMID a nasty New Zealand recession and dramatic falls in ad revenue of up to 29 percent on the previous year, Fairfax Media is moving to create efficiencies through the consolidation of pre-press and advertising production areas.

Initial media reports that suggest 70 redundancies will be made appear confirmed with the company reproducing links to those reports in its in-house newsletter this morning.

Outgoing CEO Joan Withers has also flagged the possibility of putting staff on a nine-day fortnight.

The company is about to get a new chief executive, Allen Williams, a board member and treasurer of PANPA who will take over from Ms Withers from July 1.

The consolidation is likely to entail four regional production hubs being established to provide for all newspapers, ending the practice of each title having its own facilities.

Facilities would be based in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. Fairfax NZ is the second-biggest publisher in New Zealand after APN News and Media.

Ms Withers told the Fairfax-owned website stuff.co.nz that the hubs would be running before September.

“The hub structure will consolidate and streamline our production workflow, processes and workforce in a way that delivers lower cost, higher productivity and better quality,” she said.

Redundancy numbers had not been confirmed, and some staff with production knowledge would be required at each newspaper. Staff would be notified in the next two weeks, and voluntary redundancies would be requested initially.

Ms Withers said the project would capitalise on a number of investments to update work process across the company. She said the consolidation was not a response to the current economic climate, or Fairfax NZ’s performance.

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