News downsizes Reply

News Limited has ditched its traditional newspaper structure to meet the demands of 24/7 multiplatform journalism.

The legacy of a series of takeovers and expansions, News Limited had 19 Divisions, including The Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne, Queensland Newspapers and Nationwide News in Sydney.
Under the new organisation, management will be reduced to five divisions with multiplatform responsibilities.

News Limited, owned by the US based News Corporation, publishes most of Australia’s major newspapers, including the Herald Sun, the Courier Mail, the Sunday Mail, the Adelaide Advertiser and the Sydney Telegraph. While Rupert Murdoch was one of the first newspaper publishers to warn against the impact of the internet, News Corporation’s attempts to diversify into new media such as My Space, have floundered. Newspapers are now a relatively minor part of international News Corporation operations which are dominated by cable television, satellite services, movies,  and other entertainment.

Australia’s second largest newspaper publisher,  Fairfax Media this week announced that it would sack 1900 workers, close its major printing plants, go tabloid and erect paywalls around its online news, as a result of audiences and revenue switching to the internet.

News Limited’s Chief executive, Kim Williams said today his company was re-balancing its activities and revenues in an integrated way. Multi-platform journalism would become universal.

Digital technology and the ever-increasing array of consumer devices and connectivity points represent an important core to the future of our company. To realise the huge opportunities presented we must ensure we have world-class resources supporting our editorial and sales teams. Those resources – people and technology – must be integrated across our editorial product development and execution to be truly successful. Therefore we will no longer run News Digital Media as a separate operating division, but instead embed the knowledge, energy, resources and talent of our digital experts into every part of News.

“I have an aversion to words that work on a page that don’t work online,” he said.  Journalism would  be offered on a series of platforms.  News would adopt a one city, one newsroom strategy. “This single newsroom concept will transform operations and unlock strengths. Regional editoral managers would be appointed to take responsibility for all products in New South Wales and Queensland.  “We need digitally literate thinking in our DNA'” he said.

News Limited would buy the remnants of the Packer publishing empire, taking “100 percent” of Fox Sports.

“We must change to ensure a viable and sustainable future,” Willliams said.

Our commitment to making bold investments to grow the company is demonstrated by the recently announced $60m investment in a new publishing platform, Methode, and today’s announcement of the acquisition of AIBM, Australia’s number one pure online business and investment publisher. The investment in Methode plays a foundation stone role in engaging our customers. It will allow us to create once and publish many times across every platform our customers use – print, online, tablet, mobile, smart devices, and broadcast.

The changes would result in an unspecified number of redundancies.

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