Editorial production for Fairfax Media's newspapers in the Newcastle and Wollongong areas will be moved to New Zealand later this year as the company pushes for greater efficiency.
Under the proposal announced this afternoon, Fairfax Editorial Services (FES) will take over the editorial production of the Newcastle Herald, Newcastle Star, Port Stephens Examiner, Lakes Mail and Myall Coast Nota from Fairfax's Newcastle facility, while the Illawarra Mercury, Wollongong Advertiser, Lake Times and Kiama Independent will move from Fairfax's Wollongong facility making 56 positions redundant across the two locations.
In a statement on both the Herald and Mercury websites, Fairfax Media said that FES have a "proven track record", currently producing nine daily, two Sunday and 67 community newspapers and that the changes would not affect the reporting and photographic output of the papers.
Fairfax Regional Media chief executive Allan Browne said in the statement that the move reflects changes in the industry and a increased focus on growing audience and revenue.
"Our industry is in a period of immense transition and we need to be willing to do things differently in our businesses," Mr Browne said. "Our newsrooms need to be in the best position possible to efficiently provide content across platforms, whether it is in print, web, mobile or in other media."
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