The head of the Media Union, Chris Warren, says he doesn’t think Fairfax would consider closing the Illawarra Mercury despite reports the paper is one of more than thirty regional publications under review.
A report in the Australian on Monday refers to two consultants’ reports that recommend Fairfax review the future of between 30 and 65 of its local papers, including the Illawarra Mercury, the Wollongong Advertiser, the Kiama Independent, and the Shoalhaven and Nowra News.
Fairfax has dismissed the article as “speculative hype”.
A spokesman for the company says The Australian is “comprehensively misinformed” about Fairfax’s commitment to its regional mastheads and the story is based on out-dated material.
Chris Warren says the Illawarra Mercury has a long and proud history and he’d be shocked if Fairfax closed it down.
“Widely recognised for its journalism, it’s won Walkley awards, it’s recognised as almost the equivalent of a metropolitan daily newspaper so for the Illawarra Mercury to close would be astounding,” he said.
“I would be astounded if that happens or the company is seriously considering that as an option.”
The Illawarra Mercury announced via its newspaper on Tuesday the appointment of Corinne Whiteman as its new general manager and Lisa Rogers as advertising manager.