Australian News Corp shuts down small papers, to go digital-only

Andrew Cummings
May 29, 2020

Media reports indicate that the moves could result in the elimination of a third of the company's jobs, or between 500 and 1000 positions.

But some job roles will change and "regretfully, will lead to job losses".

"This review considered the ongoing consumer shift to reading and subscribing news online, and the acceleration of businesses using digital advertising", News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller said adding "Our portfolio review highlighted that many of our print mastheads were challenged, and the double impact of COVID-19 and the tech platforms not remunerating the local publisher whose content they profit from, has, unfortunately, made them unsustainable publications".

June 2020 will certainly mark a very dark time, for an already long fizzling-out main stream media and print newspaper industry.

"Local newspapers have done a terrific job at telling local stories", he told AAP.


The company has launched 16 new digital only local mastheads and is planning to expand the number to 92.

"New ways need to be found to have local news and local scrutiny".

"The closure of so many mastheads represents an vast blow to local communities and, coming off the back of hundreds of previous regional closures during this period, it underlines the seriousness of the crisis facing regional and local journalism", Murphy said.

Larger regional papers, such as the Hobart Mercury or NT News, will continue to be published in their print form. "They will involve fundamental changes to how we operate our business, but they are necessary".

Some small print newspapers will cease publication, but the local journalism coverage of the area will continue, feeding into the digital masthead.


With the bulk of the closures in her state, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was a sad day.

"Many of these papers have been part of their communities for more than 100 years".

"The closure of so many mastheads represents an vast blow to local communities and, coming off the back of hundreds of previous regional closures during this period, it underlines the seriousness of the crisis facing regional and local journalism", MEAA Chief Executive Paul Murphy said.

"The closure of so many mastheads represents an huge blow to local communities and, coming off the back of hundreds of previous regional closures during this period, it underlines the seriousness of the crisis facing regional and local journalism", MEAA Chief Executive Paul Murphy said.

Mr Murphy said the union was still waiting for clarity on how many jobs would go and expected fair treatment for any staff forced to leave.


From next month, the company which dominates Australia's media and political landscape said it would take 76 regional mastheads online only and shut another 36 altogether.

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