Feel the fear, that sound you hear is journalist’s knees knocking together

The Media party are shaking in their boots.

After years of degrading their mastheads to the status of clickbait sites they are now facing mass redundancy.

Trade Union leaders are worried that a merger would have serious consequences for NZME and Fairfax NZ staff.

Hundreds of New Zealand journalists face an uncertain future if the planned merger gets the green light.

Media companies Fairfax and APN have told the New Zealand Stock exchange they are in talks about merging their New Zealand businesses by the end of 2016.

NZME – the New Zealand arm of APN – owns several North Island daily papers and radio stations, while Fairfax’s media portfolio includes newspapers, magazines, such as Cuisine, TV Guide and NZ House & Garden, and the country’s most-visited news website Stuff.co.nz.   

E Tu union has been handling media job losses for years, with the most recent occurring last Friday, and media organiser Paul Tolich said he feared things would get worse.

“I think it will lead to a decline in the available jobs for journalists. They have already cut the numbers of subeditors to a very small number, and you can see that they are now going to cut reporters and front line journalists.”

If completed, the combined company would own a host of New Zealand’s newspapers, including The New Zealand Herald, The Press the Sunday Star-Times and the Dominion Post, as well as the radio networks ZM, NewstalkZB, Radio Sport and Hauraki.

The two businesses have a combined workforce of more than 3000 people and former NZ Herald editor Tim Murphy estimated a merger could cost up to 750 jobs.

That sounds like a good start.

I think they need to be raising that estimate. NZME.’s print operations are in a building with less than 6 years left to run on the lease. The owner wants them gone so he can build apartments and get a bigger return on his investment. NZME. already prints Fairfax papers in the Auckland region out of that building. So printing operations are going to have to merge even further somehow. The other Fairfax plants around the country possibly could be used but that means it is likely the NZ Herald will be printed outside of Auckland.

Rationalisation and a paywall is their last ditch attempt to stave off the inevitable, the collapse of their out dated and outmoded business models.

If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny watching these fools all run around trying to shore up the collapsing structures they created.


– Radio NZ


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  • cows4me

    I won’t matter they’ll still print the same leftist swill. What would life be without the weekly climate change propaganda or some poor creature that needs pimping ?

  • JeffDaRef

    Viz your earlier story about today’s leading stories in the Herald…exactly how many seasoned journos are required when 80% of content is farmed from today’s Twitter feed…???

  • Tiger

    I bet some journalist’s cvs are on their way to WO. WO of course is a legitimate news media organisation after all.

    • Spiker

      Hopefully they will send it as hard copy. Then he’ll have something to feed the fire over winter & keep the family warm. Just imagine the entertainment in the Whale household as they decide who gets to go on the fire tonight.

  • Seriously?

    It has been amusing watching them circle their wagons and coat them with a protective shield of mutual admiration while they sing songs of self-importance. They should instead embrace the merger. One large organisation may stand up for a while longer against the tides of change, but two smaller ones will only cannibalize each other may both fail more quickly.

    I have a plan for them to consider. It is a bit strange. They could try to report facts, in a balanced and dispassionate way, and keep their opinions to themselves. I think viewers are sick to death of people like Gower trying to tell us what we should think on everything for tax and trust law to international trade issues, and geopolitics – like some sort of well dressed taxi-driver (only less useful). Just deliver the news as accurately as you can and I might be willing to pay to receive it.

    • Crowgirl

      I don’t think they know how to do that – their writing and behaviour suggest this is what they think journalism is. This probably goes back to their university professors.

  • lyall

    will just have to see how ‘professionals’ in one of the country’s least trusted professions fare on the 2nd hand job market – there might be a lot of new blogs starting up soon and WO wont be short of candidates for crybaby of the week!

  • waldopepper

    talk about chickens coming home to roost lol.

    • OneTrack

      And all they had to do was gather, analyse and present the real news, and real people might have bought what they were selling. But no, the Hagar trained jornolists just couldn’t handle that – they have a higher cause. “No matter what we do or what we say …..”

  • Simon P

    I think WO should post a job ad for an experienced journalist wanted just to see who applies.

    • phronesis

      For added fun he could ask them all to take a drug test.

      • Bryan

        also add “have you ever hacked into anyone’s email to get a story”

        • Simon P

          I think we need to come up with a full job description

  • one for the road

    Finally the Interwebs will replace them all, we only need a few to write some stories around the country/world, including Blogs, and the machine will do the rest… Even today Google scrapes the world news websites quite effectively


    • Seriously?

      A few years ago I read that Warren Buffett had started to invest in small local papers. His logic was said to be that they deliver content that is relevant to a target audience. He is seldom wrong.

      It made sense to me. Topic or geographically relevant information, or very big, but not in between. I still read the local paper because it has some stuff I want to know about that is not reported elsewhere. I guess that is even more the case in the US, but even here I can see the logic.

  • Bombastic

    The only downside that I can see is that there are enough Cannon Media Awards to go round everyone who’s left.

  • Wheninrome

    Just think how many would be if they could be PR companies will spring up, either that or all the English teaching vacancies will be filled.
    edit to add, can’t let all those BA’s go to waste.

  • Cadwallader

    The problem is that the accountants who run the media outlets will not necessarily appreciate who in the msm are the biggest turn-offs. I have never been asked to participate in any of their surveys so do not understand how ratings work. It would be great to join in a WO version of “The Media’s Got Talent” and put to a vote as to who ought be made redundant and in what order. I agree with Dave that the number 750 seems light. The radio platform alone ought be able to dispense with that number of personnel. I just yearn for Ms Smalley to lead the lemmings-charge off the cliff-top!

  • Abjv

    Angry Andy has a vacancy for a press officer.

    • stephen2d

      There will be a stampedo of “journalists” fighting each other for a job. The fact that the job will last as long as Angry is Lab leader, which is probably at best 6 months, is another story.

      • shykiwibloke

        And I assume the universities are still packing them into media studies degrees…..

  • Bryan

    I then begs the question “will the country want another source of news other than the MSM merged lot ” could be an opening for an on line active local reporters service

  • Dumrse

    Overnight talkback named the amalgamated media as STUFFME. It will sit nicely with NEW SHUB.

  • Dan

    True, but there is one last hope according to today’s posts and comments. Maori TV may well be the last bastion of real local news (not counting certain blogs of course!) Good on them! Long may they not get caught up in the MSM vortex.,