Fairfax Media’s restructure of its publishing operations in Tasmania will result in fewer job losses than originally proposed, the company has told staff.
Fairfax’s suburban, regional and rural publishing business Australian Community Media (ACM) announced plans last month to revitalise its newspapers and websites in the state with new digital-first publishing technology and new equipment and training for journalists and sales staff.
Staff of The Examiner and The Advocate gathered in Launceston, Burnie and Devonport on Thursday to be briefed on the final shape of ACM’s Tasmanian operating structure after a period of consultation with staff and the community.
Business manager of ACM’s Tasmanian operating group Janine Buesnel will oversee the restructure.
Led by group sales manager Dan Ryan and group managing editor Mark Baker,the restructured editorial and sales teams will deliver new-look newspapers, more digital content and enhanced advertising solutions.
As a result of feedback, extra journalist positions have been added to the structure originally proposed.
The company expects voluntary redundancies of about 11 full-time equivalent positions from its Tasmanian operations, 2.5 positions less than originally proposed.
Director of ACM John Angilley thanked staff and community members for their constructive feedback.
“It is heartening to see that our communities care as much as we do about our journalism, our local content and our trusted mastheads,” Mr Angilley said.
“With the continued support of our audiences and advertisers, this plan for the future will help our newspapers and websites remain sustainable and vibrant local voices.”
Staff were briefed on the voluntary redundancy program, new roles created in the restructure and the implementation schedule for new technology and training.
“Our staff will adopt more efficient ways of working and new technology to improve how they provide news and information to their communities, with our journalists and photographers continuing to do what they do best – telling local stories,” Mr Angilley said.
“This is a substantial upgrading for our newsrooms with new systems, digital-first editorial production and quality-checking processes plus a vastly better local sales approach.”
The restructure of the Tasmanian operations follows the introduction of new technology and new ways of working at 45 ACM mastheads in Queensland, Victoria and the Illawarra, South Coast and south-west regions of NSW.
The ACM network includes hundreds of newspapers and websites serving regional, rural and suburban communities in every Australian state and territory.