A number of long-serving Fairfax Media journalists have announced their departures from the company as redundancies associated with a major corporate restructure begin.
On Tuesday, staff who had applied for voluntary redundancies learned whether their applications had been accepted, and on Wednesday, court reporter Louise Hall, senior writer Adam Morton and AFL specialist Rohan Connolly all said they would finish up this month.
Sydney Morning Herald chief editorial writer and columnist, Alan Stokes, will also be moving on. Mr Stokes used his weekly column “Such is life” to wrap up his time at the Herald and thank his readers.
“In that sense I feel I am betraying a great many people by leaving the Herald and especially this space. If anyone feels their loyalty has been misplaced, I offer only this: I hope to make whatever small contribution I can, but in another way,” he said.
“And so, dear readers, on extreme indulgence, with your permission, for one last time, may I just say…such is life.”
In a statement on Twitter, Mr Connolly said that while he valued his 22-year career at The Age, the industry was changing and it was time for him to move on.
“We all know these are perilous times for newspapers, and the simple facts are that after that long, this is an opportunity which I literally can’t afford not to pursue.”
— Rohan Connolly (@rohan_connolly) June 6, 2017
— Louise Hall (@LouiseCHall) June 5, 2017
Some news: this week’s my last at The Age. Have loved the relationship w readers, 12yrs w friends/colleagues. Looking forward to what’s next
— Adam Morton (@adamlmorton) June 6, 2017
Cartoonists were not able to escape the budget cuts either, with Alan Moir’s Sydney Morning Herald cartoons to be reduced to a once-a-week appearance in the Saturday edition only.
Lke mny othrs I have been hit by Fairfax budget cuts.I’ve been cut from
SMH mon to fri, but will still appear sats. Daily tweets will cont pic.twitter.com/NOzoyucNdT
— Alan Moir (@moir_alan) June 6, 2017
This is only the start of many redundancies at Fairfax, stemming from a restructure by which the company aims to save $30 million.
Announced by metro publishing managing director Chris Janz in early April, the budget cuts could see up to 125 jobs lost from newsrooms around the country.
Fairfax Media refused to comment on the redundancies of restructure today.