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News Corp to axe hundreds of jobs

News Corp is planning to centralise parts of its editorial and commercial functions, cut print production and restructure its regional newspaper business. The company consolidated its advertising teams over the last 12 months and recently announced plans to launch its own newswire service after it decided to pull out as a shareholder of Australian Associated Press.

News Corp’s local executive team led by executive chairman Michael Miller have taken significant pay cuts, staff are working reduced hours and the company temporarily suspended the print editions of more than 60 suburban titles including The Manly Daily . The company revealed local advertising revenue had fallen by almost 40 per cent at third-quarter results.

News Corporation’s global executive chairman, Rupert Murdoch, is not receiving his annual cash bonus this financial year and chief executive Robert Thomson said he would forgo 75 per cent of his annual cash bonus after the company warned investors of significant third-quarter revenue declines.

Foxtel, which News Corp holds a majority stake in, has separately axed more than 250 jobs in the last few months as part of a broader restructure and the weak ad market conditions.

The company announced a management restructure two weeks ago which saw executives such as Lou Barrett and Julian Delany expand their responsibilities. The company was also in due diligence with regional media proprietor Antony Catalano about the sale of its regional and community news­paper business, which is made up of more than 100 titles including The Geelong Advertiser, Gold Coast Bulletin, The Weekly Times and NT News.

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