Pacific Magazines reveals 11 redundancies as it looks to further reduce cost base before 30 June

Pacific Magazines is set to reduce its cost base before 30 June, with 11 redundancies planned and consultations underway with sub-editors across all brands about a proposal to outsource their work to external sub copy business, Pagemasters.

In an email addressed to staff obtained by Mumbrella, CEO Gereurd Roberts told the company consultations had commenced with sub-editors about a proposal which would see a customised subbing solution build for Pacific Magazines, involving staff with expertise in the categories where the brands operate.

He said the proposed move would mirror Pacific Magazines’ current three phase sub-editing process and would “ensure strict adherence” to brand guidelines.

“Should the proposal proceed, a small team of copy directors/sub-editors will remain at Pacific, while some of our sub-editors may be employed by Pagemasters. We will keep you updated as these discussions progress,” he said.

The email also confirmed 11 other positions had already been affected across the business.

Mumbrella understands the first set of redundancies involved staff advertising and digital, as well as the fashion picture desk.

“All of these staff members were spoken to directly earlier today, and we are currently consulting with them to transition as many as possible into new opportunities within the business,” Roberts said.

He noted the changes were part of a broader plan to reduce Pacific Magazines’ cost base to a target before 30 June as part of the publishing company’s direction and strategy for the next financial year.

“Many of the decisions have not been easy to make, and I know they will be difficult for many of you also. They are in no way a reflection of the tremendous work, commitment and care these team members have always shown,” he told staff.

“They were taken only after all options were thoroughly considered, and once determined, it was imperative that we acted now to ensure we stayed well ahead of the challenges that many industries face, including ours.

Roberts: “Many of the decisions have not been easy to make, and I know they will be difficult for many of you also”

“These changes will ensure that we continue to progress – that we have a profitable, financially secure business that is positioned to take advantage of all the opportunities that will present themselves in the future. Our print audiences are again in growth, as the latest readership figures showed, and we remain one of the fastest-growing digital businesses in the country.

“The initiatives announced today will ensure that our business remains strong also, and that moving forward we have the capacity and capability to invest in building our brands and products, extending those consumer connections,” he said.

Roberts said he would take all staff through the business’ vision and strategy for 2018, known as ‘Reimagine’, in the next staff meeting.

Since FY13, Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines has reported a decline in revenue year on year.

At the end of the FY16, Pacific Magazines reported $201.2m in revenue, a decline of 8.6% from FY15’s $220.1m

Seven West Media FY16 report shows Pacific Magazines’ revenue decline

The latest news comes seven months after 11 positions across the sales team were made redundant, as part of a commercial re-structure announced at the end of October, which proposed a ‘total network approach.’

Pacific Magazines is not the first publishing company to look to outsource sub-editors.

Fairfax made the decision to outsource most of its copy subbing across the news, business and sports pages in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Canberra to Pagemasters in 2011.

Despite strikes and attempts to fight the axing of the subs, Fairfax pushed ahead with the plans in 2012, with 56 full-time production staff moving from Australia to New Zealand.

The sub-editors were initially moved to Pagemasters before moving to a Fairfax subbing hub.

In 2016, Fairfax looked to move its production of its metro newspapers from its New Zealand hub back to Pagemasters.

In June 2015, Mamamia posted job adverts looking for subeditors in India and Bangladesh. 

Earlier this year, News Corp announced it would slash jobs across editorial operations which would lead to a drastic reduction in sub-editing staff.

Pacific Magazines’ brands include Better Homes and Gardens, Diabetic Living, Family Circle, InStyle, Girlfriend, Home Beautiful, Marie Claire, New Idea, Who, and Men’s Health, That’s Life! , Virgin Australia Voyeur and Women’s Health.

Late last year, Pacific Magazines became the final major publisher to withdraw for the Audited Media Association of Australia, effectively killing the magazine audit.


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.