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News Corp closes seven local Victorian papers

Tuesday, 07 June 2016
By Print 21 Online Article

News Corp is to close seven local Victorian newspapers at the end of the month, warning that ‘publishing a printed publication is not sustainable’ in some smaller markets.

The final editions of the Melbourne Leader, the Berwick Leader, the Brimbank Leader, the Free Press Leader, the Hobsons Bay Leader, the Melton Leader and the Wyndham Leader will be delivered on July 1.

News Corp told staff members of the decision yesterday and about five-eight redundancies are expected. The company said some staff would redeployed.

“The reality is that in today’s fragmented market there is more competition than ever before and in some of our smaller markets, publishing a printed publication is not sustainable,” said a News Corp spokesperson. “Therefore, we have decided to close the following seven Leader titles: Berwick, Brimbank, Free Press, Hobsons Bay, Melbourne, Melton and Wyndham.

“News Corp Australia continues to reshape its business to meet the needs of its audiences and commercial partners, and is confidently investing in areas that will provide returns over the long term. Leader Community News will be focusing its investment on brands which have strong audience engagement and solid advertising market share, and will be investing in, and rejuvenating, its portfolio of community titles.”

The decision is the latest blow to a traditional printed newspaper industry that is reeling from the impact of a rapid audience shift to digital news sites.

“This is another devastating cut for community news,” Media Entertainment Arts Alliance Victorian director Carolyn Dunbar told media site Mumbrella. “Local communities need local news and the closure of these mastheads will have a significant impact on these communities.

“MEAA members were told that in three weeks, their papers will no longer exist. It’s just not good enough. Once again, MEAA members are left in the dark by News Corp.”







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