Major News restructure ‘on the menu’ at upmarket Randwick

Apr 15, 2024 at 04:59 pm by admin

A prestige dining establishment with views across Sydney’s Royal Randwick racecourse was reported to have been the setting for high-level talks about the future of Newscorp in Australia.

Sam Buckingham-Jones, media reporter on Nine’s Australian Financial Review, says the meeting was part of discussions over the Murdoch outpost’s biggest restructure in more than a decade, the biggest upheaval, in fact since Kim Williams – who has just taken the chair of the ABC – was in charge at News’ Holt Street headquarters.

Buckingham-Jones reports a discussion “overheard” at Royal Randwick’s Chairman’s Club at the weekend, but does not name the participants. Australian activities would be split into three parts, covering the group’s metro mastheads and sports businesses (‘metro and sport’), its popular bews site and e-commerce sites (‘fast and free’), and thirdly national daily The Australian and prestige publications such as Vogue Australia, GQ Australia and Wish magazines (‘affluent and influential’).

The major changes are partly precipated by Meta’s decision not to renegotiate terms for the use of News’ content on Facebook, leading to an unspecified loss of revenue for News nationally and internationally. In common with other news publishers, it also faces progressively smaller revenue from advertising.

Buckingham-Jones says other options canvassed included moving Sky News Australia into News Corp’s Holt Street headquarters and the elimination of state managing directors. Executive chairman Australasia Michael Miller would spearhead the changes, on which decisions were yet to be made.

News is understood to be negotiating a new deal with Google, thought to be worth less than the one just expiring, but still valuable. The 2021 deals under Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code are understood to have been worth up to $250 million a year. Reports put News’ international revenue from Google at ‘nine figures’, or more than $US100 million.

Buckingham-Jones reported that News editors had been flown to Sydney this month to hear about it. A News Corp Australia spokesman had declined to comment on the reports.

Sections: Newsmedia industry


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