News Corp makes finance roles redundant as part of ongoing transformation program

Australia’s largest newspaper publisher News Corp has made more structural changes resulting in redundancies as part of its “ongoing transformation program” to run a more efficient business.

The changes fit into the bigger News Corp restructure, a spokesperson said, which kicked off towards the end of 2016 and has already impacted editorial and photography, and seen various leadership shuffles.

News Corp: Continuing its transformation program

Responding to rumours it had made more lay-offs today, a News Corp spokesperson told Mumbrella: “Today we announced some changes to align our finance teams and functions as part of our ongoing program to reshape how we work to build the most effective and efficient business model.”

The publisher said a small number of roles in its finance team will become redundant as a result of the structural changes. News Corp was unable to provide the exact number of staff who will be let go.

In November 2016, Bedi Singh, chief financial officer, flagged $40m worth of cuts, which would inevitably lead to redundancies across the business.

The redundancy program first hit editorial, with jobs reportedly going at The Daily Telegraph.

In April, the scope of the restructure emerged when it was revealed jobs would be slashed across editorial operations, with most photographers made redundant and a drastic reduction in sub-editing staff.

In a statement at the time, Campbell Reid, News Corp’s director of editorial management, said the changes were necessary to achieve the balance of resourcing between content creation, content production and digital excellence.

“Like every other business today, we have to identify opportunities to improve and modernise the way we work to become more efficient. We need to organise our editorial operations so we can preserve in print and excel in digital. This requires a new approach to longstanding newsroom processes,” he said.

Staff, however, pushed back, with a vote of no confidence in management from the Queensland operation.

The angry Queensland staffers said News Corp management in Sydney did not have a vision to rebuild a viable company.

The motion stated: “Senior News Corp management needs to be held accountable for its poor business decisions, lack of vision and inability to consult their employees.”

By May, as many as 70 staff photographers were axed from News Corp as the restructure moved ahead.  News Corp signalled it would outsource much of its photography work to news agency AAP, which it is a shareholder in.

In June, the cuts hit operations with jobs axed across Victoria and New South Wales contact centres. Operations were consolidated in Adelaide, with call centre staff and advertising account managers let go.

Late last year, executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said despite the ongoing challenges, News Corp’s publications remained viable.

He told shareholders the company had done “pretty well” replacing lost print revenue in its major papers, but the growth of digital was an ongoing issue.

“We have our hands pretty full making our existing papers viable. The big three successes we have are the big three national papers – The Wall Street Journal, The Times in London and The Australian. Other papers – there’s still a lot of them and they are still very viable but they’re struggling,” he said.



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