Nine Entertainment chief executive Hugh Marks has confirmed that 144 positions will be made redundant as a result of the company’s recently approved takeover of Fairfax Media.
- Nine moves quickly after last week’s Federal Court approval of the $3b merger with Fairfax
- The job cuts at Fairfax are part of plan to slash costs by $50 million
- Jobs in back-office areas are targeted, although “information technology” positions will be spared
In a statement to Nine staff, Mr Marks said the roles would be eliminated due to duplication in the wake of the merger which will also see some vacant positions “no longer required”.
“We have spoken to, or will speak to, those affected as soon as possible so that all employees have clarity and certainty before we commence operations as a combined business,” Mr Marks said.
“Where appropriate our aim is to immediately redeploy affected employees or if this is not possible they will have immediate access to outplacement services and support through the Nine and Fairfax Employee Assistance Programs.”
With some of the redundancies coming from unfilled positions, Nine has been able to keep the actual number of staff directly impacted to 92.
In the staff note, Mr Marks said most of the work needed in relation to identifying “synergies” including redundancies would be complete.
Nine accelerates integration
While all back-office areas have been under review, Mr Marks signalled that information technology was the “one exception” where duplication was seen as necessary to continue for human resources, payroll, office productivity and content management.
“The focus has been on critical day one needs and we are yet to decide the best path forward for duplicate systems,” Mr Marks said.
“We will stay in touch with the relevant teams as we work through those decisions”.
Mr Mark’s update is the latest evidence that Nine Entertainment is accelerating its integration with Fairfax Media after last week’s Federal Court approval of the $3 billion deal.
In the leadup to Nine’s takeover, there was speculation that there would be savings of $50 million over two years by reducing duplication.
While the takeover marks the end of the 177-year-old Fairfax brand, Nine has repeated there are no plans to merge newsrooms and that key mastheads of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review will be independent.