The News Corp acquisition of APN News & Media’s Australian Regional Media (ARM) will see 300 jobs cut as News Corp looks to secure “back office synergies”, according to a report in The Australian.
According to the report, the cuts are expected to be implemented over an initial phase and a subsequent round of cost cuts once News Corp has had more time to assess the ARM operations across regional Queensland and northern NSW.
However, News Corp Australasia executive chairman, Michael Miller, is a known entity to those working at APN, because up until August last year he ran the business, and potentially may already have an idea where costs could be saved.
The Australian asserts there are no plans to shut ARM titles, provided they remain profitable, with cuts to be aimed at back office, printing and distribution functions, with some cuts expected to come from News Corp regional publications where there is duplication.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp already holds a 14.9% state in ARM – which consists of 12 daily newspapers and 60 community newspapers – and has proposed to buy the division for $36.6m, which is set to be voted on by APN shareholders this Friday.
The deal is still subject to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approval, with a decision expected at the end of next week.
ARM reported an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $18.4m, down 27% on the year before.
News Corp has been approached for comment.