News Corp to close seven local Victorian newspapers

News Corp is set to close seven newspapers in its local Leader Community Newspapers groups by the end of month, with five to eight redundancies expected.

The Melbourne Leader, the Berwick Leader, the Brimbank Leader, the Free Press Leader, the Hobsons Bay Leader, the Melton Leader and the Wyndham Leader will be shuttered with final delivery of the papers to take place on July 1.


A News Corp Australia spokesperson said: “News Corp Australia continues to reshape its business to meet the needs of its audiences and commercial partners, and is confidently investing in areas that will provide returns over the long term.

“Leader Community News will be focusing its investment on brands which have strong audience engagement and solid advertising market share, and will be investing in, and rejuvenating, its portfolio of community titles.

“However, the reality is that in today’s fragmented market there is more competition than ever before and in some of our smaller markets, publishing a printed publication is not sustainable. Therefore we have decided to close the following seven Leader titles: Berwick, Brimbank, Free Press, Hobsons Bay, Melbourne, Melton and Wyndham.”

It comes off a bleak time for regional journalism with Fairfax Media restructuring its Australian Community Media division resulting in numerous redundancies.

Media Entertainment Arts Alliance Victorian director Carolyn Dunbar said: “MEAA members were this morning told that in three weeks, their papers will no longer exist. It’s just not good enough.

“The company is required to consult with their staff about major changes and the company should be drawing on the expertise of editorial staff on the ground before announcing any cuts to titles. Once again, MEAA members are left in the dark by News Corp.

“This is another devastating cut for community news. Local communities need local news and the closure of these mastheads will have a significant impact on these communities.”

This morning News Corp appointed former Woolworths chief marketer Tony Phillips as its new chief marketing officer.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.