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Last updated on July 27th, 2017 at 05:00 am

It’s bloodletting time at Fairfax:

John Fairfax Holdings Ltd will slash up to 7.5 per cent of its editorial staff at its Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan newspapers as part of proposed cost cutting …

Between 20 and 30 positions will be slashed at The Age and between 25 to 35 jobs will go in Sydney …

In a memo to staff, Age editor Andrew Jaspan and Age managing director Don Churchill said the company would force redundancies if volunteers were not forthcoming.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after Fairfax last year shed about 45 editorial positions and 86 printing jobs.

Angry SMH and Age staff are currently meeting with their pointless union. Wonder how the 55 soon-to-be-unemployed Fairfaxers feel about recent online hire Andrew West, who’s contributed a mere 18 posts since joining the SMH in September.

UPDATE: “The latest round of redundancies is likely to target older journalists and editors …”

UPDATE II. It just doesn’t make sense; 16 Fairfax journalists have won awards this year, yet still the company struggles!

Posted by Tim B. on 10/25/2005 at 09:02 PM
    1. Here’s hoping one of those ‘editorial positions’ is Andrew Jaspans.

      Posted by JamesP on 2005 10 25 at 10:14 PM • permalink


    1. Pity it won’t improve the quality of the Smage?

      Christ, just look at the GeoCities style home page the Aged has now – and they call that a revamp.

      It looks like it was made in 1996.

      Posted by Jay Santos on 2005 10 25 at 10:37 PM • permalink


    1. The way things are going, the Age will not need any journalists soon, only ad managers, as ever more of their pages are given over to advertising.  I refuse to take seriously any newspaper, let alone a ‘quality broadsheet’, that gives over its entire Page 2 to an advertisement.  What’s next, Bingo?

      Posted by cuckoo on 2005 10 25 at 10:52 PM • permalink


    1. Margo as always is ahead of the curve.

      Posted by captain on 2005 10 25 at 11:00 PM • permalink


    1. “Some staff are now pushing for industrial action”.

      What a loss that would be if they all went on strike.

      Posted by Hank Reardon on 2005 10 25 at 11:03 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve heard that Webdiary is looking for experienced bolderers.

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 2005 10 25 at 11:06 PM • permalink


    1. Hopefully they will terminate Paul McGeough without a flight home…

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2005 10 25 at 11:09 PM • permalink


    1. “The latest round of redundancies is likely to target older journalists and editors …”

      It would be great to see the end of all the ageing baby boomers like Allen Ramsey who keep re-fighting the Vietnam War, but I’m afraid we would then have to support them out of welfare. Perhaps Fairfax could pension them off to Fairhaven, a new sunset home for terminally senile and irrelevant ex-journalists.

      Posted by mr magoo on 2005 10 25 at 11:19 PM • permalink


    1. Hold on Mr magoo
      we dont need the procrastination of pensioned off journalists @ fairhaven – leave them in melbourne rather than having them spread their toxic bile on the coast.

      Posted by am on 2005 10 25 at 11:38 PM • permalink


    1. I’d start the redundancies with the Age’s letter page editor and his stablemate Leunig who hates Bush to the point of certifiable mania. Yesterday there was a letter published blaming Howard because a parking inspector put a ticket on a car with a dead person inside (Howard has encouraged a greedy rapacious society); today we have a Rosie Haden, of Yackandandah writing:
      “I have long held that at least 65% of the population are unable to think for themselves, are totally self-centred and easily fooled. The latest polls demonstrating clear support for the proposed anti-terrorist laws confirm this.” This is quite typical of the letters favored for publication – the style is irony-free.

      Posted by percypup on 2005 10 26 at 12:03 AM • permalink


    1. Although percypup, I think it is probably a fair representation of its readership – just look at the poll results.

      Wonder how the 55 soon-to-be-unemployed Fairfaxers feel about recent online hire Andrew West, who’s contributed a mere 18 posts since joining the SMH in September.

      Bring back Alan Anderson’s ‘The Razor’!

      Posted by JamesP on 2005 10 26 at 12:10 AM • permalink


    1. Why are the oldies always the scapegoats?

      Here’s an idea, Fairfax managers: target your reduncancies at those who are least competent, regardless of age.

      And if you can’t figure out how to measure your employees’ competency, sack yourself.

      Lazy bastards.

      Posted by slammer on 2005 10 26 at 12:11 AM • permalink


    1. Why are oldies the scapegoats? Because the cost the most retain.

      In the mining industry the employment cycle always used to be slightly less than 5 years, 5 years being the period of service that teh company had to start contributing to your super, and more importantly, when it has to pay its share of your super if you were retrenched.

      In Fairfax’s case I know that the prevailing view is that they are losing market share to the internet and other sources.

      Yet they still don’t realise that it’s their editorial policy and the bias that drives the readers to more balanced news sources.

      Fairfax types actually believe that the UK Guardian is a centrist in political colour – yet it is renowned as a very lefty organisation.

      Bernard Goldberg pointed this out in his two books, and apart from being pilloried by his fellow liberals, there is not much you can do about it.

      Sad isn’t it.

      Posted by Louis on 2005 10 26 at 12:22 AM • permalink


    1. Even though the Guardian is inhabited by the ferals, at least it has lots of analysis and opinion stuff – not just lame news articles.

      Posted by JamesP on 2005 10 26 at 12:50 AM • permalink


    1. Now the death spiral truly begins.  Its always a joy to watch companies shed their older, more expensive and competent workers.  And in exchange hire or promote those that are younger, cheaper and possibly have sat next to the competent thereby acquiring expertise through osmosis.

      Posted by Pat Patterson on 2005 10 26 at 12:54 AM • permalink


    1. A <a >Sunday Age</a> team — Claire Miller, Clay Lucas, Matt Davidson, Rebecca Carmichael, Craig Sillitoe and Cathryn Tremain — was also recognised for promoting multicultural issues in a series on ethnic diversity in Melbourne.

      “The Age” would have been selling better if its team had been focused, instead, on reporting.

      Posted by tmciolek on 2005 10 26 at 12:54 AM • permalink


    1. 18 posts since September? That’s about as much as I’ve done on my site in as much time. Then again, he gets paid for it and I don’t…

      Maybe I could get a job with Fairfax? Clearly they don’t have much business sense, so it’s not totally out of the question they’ll go on a hiring rampage after these people are let go. Then I can get paid for sitting on my arse and hacking out a minimal amount of blog entries!

      Posted by Marty K on 2005 10 26 at 12:56 AM • permalink


    1. SMH has lost its appeal since they stopped using it to wrap fish and chips.

      Posted by rog2 on 2005 10 26 at 01:31 AM • permalink


    1. If you used the SMH to wrap fish and chips now, you’d risk food poisoning from the toxic propaganda.

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 2005 10 26 at 02:16 AM • permalink


    1. Can anyone tell me what the minimum daily average sales required to keep the Age going?

      Posted by lingus4 on 2005 10 26 at 02:17 AM • permalink


    1. #9, am, agreed, and maybe we don’t need Fairhaven, when we’ve already got SBS as a sheltered workshop for terminally unemployable, ageing journos. Just look how well George Negus is doing and that’s without his walking frame.

      Posted by mr magoo on 2005 10 26 at 02:22 AM • permalink


    1. It is against the law to discriminate on the basis of age.

      Posted by noir on 2005 10 26 at 02:55 AM • permalink


    1. Redundancies should be determined by a “Fairfax Survivor” competition in which we, the long-suffering public, get to vote the company’s dead wood out. The progress of the competition and the reactions of the outed could be published in its newspapers, thereby boosting circulation and securing the future of the survivors. How about it Andrew, are you game?

      Posted by larrikin on 2005 10 26 at 02:58 AM • permalink


    1. Tim’s so right about the MEAA (Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance) being pointless.

      Perhaps it’s a Margo Kingston conspiracy – she’s forcing down the share price with her mind control ray in the hopes of getting her crack editorial team for her ‘online newspaper’.


      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 10 26 at 03:06 AM • permalink


    1. UPDATE II. It just doesn’t make sense; 16 Fairfax journalists have won awards this year, yet still the company struggles!

      I wonder when the bloodletting will occur at the Bulletin timmy. Hardly sterling circulation figures that your rag is producing, nor any awards to go with it.

      Poor Timmy, soon to be a full time blogger again.

      Posted by T-SAW on 2005 10 26 at 03:16 AM • permalink


    1. #25
      Oh. Hello Timmy – Andrea’s let you out to play eh?


      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 10 26 at 03:21 AM • permalink


    1. #25
      Good boy! Good boy!
      Come to Nora little trollie, Come to Nora.

      Roll over


      Stay… I said stay…


      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 10 26 at 03:22 AM • permalink


    1. 16 fairfaxers may have won awards this year, but who hands out the gongs, eh?  a gang of boring crapheads who write the kind of unspeakable drivel fairfax publishes

      Posted by KK on 2005 10 26 at 05:52 AM • permalink


    1. (Yeah, its him again. Try to ignore him.)
      The Fairfax papers and much of our public broadcasting fraternity are very concerned for the well-being of illegal immigrants, aussie-jihadis and heroin smugglers.
      Their supply of human rights indignation seems to evaporate when it comes to the serious matter of christian preachers hauled into court for crossing the dubious line drawn by the Victorian Government – no calls there for any examination to see if that total negation of free speech is unconstitutional or in breach of any UN conventions.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 10 26 at 07:11 AM • permalink


    1. T-SAW (these creeps don’t have much imagination, do they?) has already been banned.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 10 26 at 07:27 AM • permalink


    1. What about Ramsey? surely he’d be ripe for a sacking? Old, foolish, expensive.

      Posted by Nic on 2005 10 26 at 07:43 AM • permalink


    1. Andy sneers at our “craven U.S.,U.K.,Israeli bootlicking government”.
      Typical m.s.m.

      Posted by crash on 2005 10 26 at 08:35 AM • permalink


    1. Speaking of promoting,red Kerry was doing everything but beg teflon Peter Beattie tonight,to stop the new anti terrorism laws on the grounds of unconstitutional -ity..
      But Teflon stood firm (possibly having noted the Newspoll results on the public’s views).In vain did Kezza fume,sizzle,hector,bully,sulk and repeatedly implore.Teflon merely invoked Geoff Gallup and Maurice Iemma and looked alternately bored and amused,morphing into the bordering on annoyed.

      Posted by crash on 2005 10 26 at 08:57 AM • permalink


    1. I hate to get personal, but is “Red” Kerry actually “Grey” Kerry with some help from the cosmetic counter at David Jones? Just wondering. If he wasn’t a leftie, I’m sure the MSM would have had a heap of fun at his hair’s expense by now. is this being personal? No more than MSM columnists describing John Howard as “Little Johnny” is personal.

      Posted by percypup on 2005 10 26 at 09:07 AM • permalink


    1. In a memo to staff, Age editor Andrew Jaspan and Age managing director Don Churchill said the company would force redundancies if volunteers were not forthcoming.

      Would that mean transfer to the Department of Redundancy Department?

      Posted by ErnieG on 2005 10 26 at 09:39 AM • permalink


    1. #34 No more than the comedy “Frontline” with the presenter Ray’s bouffant “big hair”.Was that shown on abc or sbs?

      Posted by crash on 2005 10 26 at 09:58 AM • permalink


    1. #22, It is against the law to discriminate on the basis of age.

      Same in the U.S., but that doesn’t stop corporations from doing it.  There are many, many ways around it, and they know them all.

      On another note, I always assumed “Red” Kerry refered to his politics.  But I am ignorant of Australian affairs.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 10 26 at 10:41 AM • permalink


    1. #34, percypup

      Redheads and blondes don’t have enough colour in their hair for the white to show up well in contrast.

      Posted by Janice on 2005 10 26 at 07:05 PM • permalink


    1. Word is the Byron Bay Echo is looking to expand its editorial and investigative journalist sections…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 10 26 at 08:44 PM • permalink


    1. I hear that the redundancies at The Age are just the beginning with an average age fourteen years higher the Herald-Sun newsroom. It is time for all the pothead, anti-US, Woodward/Bernstein wannabes to shuffle off in their walking frames. Perhaps they could try competing in the free market for ideas in the blogosphere. I doubt any of them would last a month.

      Posted by Andrew Landeryou on 2005 10 28 at 07:13 PM • permalink


  1. Crikey advertised in OZ for retrenched journalists close to the main retrenchment story in Media section.

    Posted by crash on 2005 10 29 at 06:49 AM • permalink