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Fairfax to cut almost 2,000 jobs over three years

Australian Media company Fairfax Media Ltd. announced

Australian Media company Fairfax Media Ltd. announced on Monday, June 18 that it plans to cut almost 20 percent of its existing staff as part of of a business restructuring. The newspaper publisher will undergo the change in order to shore up its finances by cutting costs by 235 million Australian dollars (US$237 million) a year by June 2015.

Job cuts
The media company plans to eliminate 1,900 positions over the span of three years. Fairfax Media Ltd. plans to introduce paywalls around its most popular newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, according to The Wall Street Journal. A spokesman announced that Fairfax currently has 10,000 employees.

The person also revealed that 20 percent of job cuts will come from reducing staff working on printing operations, 20 percent will come from editorial staff and 60 percent will come from other places, the media outlet reports. The media company stated that the print versions of these papers would begin utilizing tabloid formats. The media company also plans to close down facilities it has in Sydney and Melbourne.

"'Readers' behaviours have changed and will not change back," chief executive Greg Hywood said in a statement, Sky news reports. "As a result, we are taking decisive actions to fundamentally change the way we do business." Hywood stated that the company explored several various alternatives to the chosen restructuring before deciding upon its announced path.
"The package of strategic initiatives is bold, and several are difficult, particularly as they will impact on some of our people," he stated, according to the news source. "However, we believe that they are in the best interests of Fairfax, our shareholders, and ultimately the majority of our people."

A spokesman for Australia trade union the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance said that the organization will probably meet with Fairfax officials to cover how the cuts will be made, The Wall Street Journal reports. He said that he has not heard any rumors that journalists will strike to protest the announced cuts.

Investor ownership
The changes to the company were disclosed amid the announced that Gina Rinehart, the world's richest woman, has obtained a 18.7 percent stake in Fairfax through her firm Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd. Rinehart is in the midst of pushing for more seats on the company's board.