Finance Finance News Nine announces redundancies ahead of Fairfax merger

Nine announces redundancies ahead of Fairfax merger

Fairfax nine merger redundancies
The merged media giant will come at an immediate cost to jobs. Photo: AAP
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Nine Entertainment will make 144 positions redundant once its merger with Fairfax Media takes effect next week.

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks, who will lead the combined company after the December 10 merger, has told staff that 92 people will be affected by the reduced number of roles.

Mr Marks said some staff could be redeployed, but that others would leave the media giant.

Most of the new staffing decisions will be made by the end of this week, he said.

Mr Marks gave no detail on where the redundancies will occur and added that some vacant positions will no longer be filled.

“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,” he said in a letter to all Nine and Fairfax staff.

Mr Marks will head the combine company from December 10. Photo: AAP

Mr Marks, however, said that no decisions had been made on how best to combine support operations including IT, HR and payroll.

“The focus has been on critical, day-one needs and we are yet to decide the best path forward for duplicate systems,” he said.

“We will stay in touch with the relevant teams as we work through those decisions.”

Mr Marks also outlined the leadership team of the combined business, with Fairfax metro publishing head Chris Janz staying in charge of masthead newspapers such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Australian Financial Review.

Allen Williams will continue to lead the community media business, with NZ boss Sinead Boucher reporting to Mr Williams.

Nine director of television Michael Healy will continue in the role, Stan boss Mike Sneesby will stay in place, Domain and Macquarie Media will go unchanged, and Greg Barnes will be chief financial officer.

The Federal Court approved the merger last week, despite a minor shareholder’s last-minute attempt to derail the deal.

Barristers for former Domain chief executive Antony Catalano argued the Fairfax board did not give its shareholders an opportunity to consider his competing offer at last month’s annual general meeting.

Mr Catalano offered to buy up to 19.9 per cent of Fairfax shares, sell its non-core assets and be appointed to the Fairfax board.

Only Nine’s deal was put to Fairfax shareholders and more than 80 per cent voted in favour of the takeover.

Justice Jacqueline Gleeson said reasons for the decision would be published “in due course”.

Mr Catalano’s legal team said he may appeal the decision.

-with AAP