Newcastle Herald staff return to work

The Newcastle Herald staff have returned to work today after walking off the job yesterday afternoon following an announcement by Fairfax Media of 69 voluntary redundancies in the Newcastle and Hunter division.

The voluntary redundancies of full-time equivalent positions, which include 46 newsroom jobs, are part of Fairfax’s continuing plans to restructure its Australian Community Media newspapers, announced in August last year.

There have been reports that 37 full time positions would be lost at The Newcastle Herald, however Fairfax says redundancy numbers will not be be completed until further consultation with the affected mastheads.

Although redundancies were foreshadowed in Fairfax’s restructuring announcement last year, the extent of the job losses for 13 titles including The Newcastle Herald, Maitland Mercury and Port Stephens Examiner were not announced until staff briefings yesterday morning.

Staff were also briefed on plans for the company’s digital-first publishing system, a revamped newspaper design and new skill-sets and equipment for journalists and the sales team.

Director of Fairfax’s Australian Community Media John Angilley said the plans would help modernise its newspapers and websites.

“Embracing these changes is vital to ensure our mastheads remain the most trusted source of news and information for many years to come.”

Following news of the redundancies, readers and other journalists expressed their support and love for The Newcastle Herald on Twitter using the hashtag #fairgofairfax.

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