SWM makes The Sunday Times editor role redundant in response to COVID-19 impacts

After announcing pay cuts and reduced hours last week, Seven West Media (SWM) has made the position of editor of Western Australia’s The Sunday Times redundant due to the financial impacts of COVID-19.

Walkley Award-winning journalist Michael Beach has filled the role since 2016, when Seven bought the newspaper from News Corp, and after 10 years with the company, will exit the business due to the redundancy.

Seven CEO James Warburton said some job losses were “inevitable” when announcing the company’s reduced hours and pay cuts scheme. Employees not covered by an enterprise agreement earning over $80,000 will drop to four-day weeks, and executives with a salary above $200,000 will continue working full time but take a 20% pay cut.

“Your continued performance of work on or after 1 April, 2020, will signify your acceptance of the above arrangement,” Warburton wrote in an email to staff.

During his time at Seven in Western Australia, Beach has also been deputy editor of The West Australian, and head of digital content at Seven West Media WA.

Previously, he spent time at News Corp in roles such as editor of the Saturday edition of The Daily Telegraph, New York Bureau Chief during 9/11, and Sydney 2000 Olympics editor.

“Michael has played a pivotal role in both The Sunday Times and The West Australian,” Seven West Media WA’s CEO, Maryna Fewster, said.

“He has shown strength and flair in every role he has undertaken for SWM and can be proud of his time – in particular as the head of The Sunday Times.

“We wish him every success in future.”

Beach has been with the company for a decade. Source: LinkedIn

Beach added that The Sunday Times is “a vital voice in WA that will continue to thrive”.

“I appreciate the opportunities I have been given at SWM, particularly being charged to lead The Sunday Times,” he said.

“I have worked with a very talented team of journalists who have broken many exclusives that have set the agenda in WA and Australia.”

Last year, Seven acquired a full stake in Community News, which was previously run as a joint venture between the company and News Corp. The transaction saw Community News’ 23 Western Australian titles added to Seven’s stable that includes The West Australian, The Sunday Times, The Kalgoorlie Miner, Countryman and additional regional titles.


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