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Aussie anger over Fairfax media cuts

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 01:19

June 18 - Fairfax Media, publisher of some of Australia's leading newspapers, is to overhaul its top papers and slash almost one-fifth of its staff in a widespread shakeup of the country's media sector. Sonia Legg reports

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(SOUNDBITE): GREG HYWOOD, CEO OF FARIFAX MEDIA, SAYING (English): "We are making the biggest changes to the business ever made" Strong words from Greg Hywood - CEO of one of Australia's largest media groups. Fairfax Media is slashing almost a fifth of its 10,000-strong workforce. It's the start of a widespread shake-up of the sector - that's not welcomed by staff and unions. (SOUNDBITE) UNIDENTIFIED WORKERS AT FAIRFAX MEDIA, SAYING (English): "We have people working inside who have families, mortgages." (SOUNDBITE) UNION REPRESENTATIVE AT FAIRFAX MEDIA, SAYING (English): "This announcement has juts driven a stake into the heart of 210 printing workers here. they are very disappointed and very angry." Fairfax publishes some of the country's leading newspapers. Like many other countries, it's struggling with a major shift online, declining advertising revenues and shrinking market share for free-to-air TV. Stuart Washington works for the Sydney Morning Herald. (SOUNDBITE) STUART WASHINGTON, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, SAYING (English): "It's an emotional time, it's a difficult time - there have been tears in the newsroom." Fairfax also plans to shut two printing plants and reduce broadsheet newspapers to tabloid formats. Distribution will also be refocussed towards online Fairfax shares hit a record low this month valuing the group at 1.4 billion dollars - down from seven billion five years ago. Sonia Legg, Reuters

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Aussie anger over Fairfax media cuts

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 01:19