Media24 announces plans for major print closures and layoffs

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Media24 has announced plans to close five magazines and several newspapers, as well as additional restructuring that will affect over 500 staff members.

The company made the announcement on 7 July, with CEO Ishmet Davidson saying that the coronavirus pandemic had negatively affected business.

As a result, the company plans to close a number of its print publications and move some to digital-only publishing.

“The pandemic has accelerated the pre-existing and long-term structural decline in print media, resulting in a devastating impact on our own already fragile print media operations with significant declines in both circulation and advertising since April,” Davidson said in the announcement.

Media24 outlined its restructuring plans, but said that final decisions will be announced following the consultation process with employees.

Media24 magazine and paper closures

The planned restructuring will reduce positions at the company by 660, affecting around 510 staff members.

Magazines that Media24 plans to close include:

  • Men’s Health
  • Women’s Health
  • Bicycling
  • Runner’s World

Meanwhile, DRUM will move to digital-only publication.

Media24 also plans to outsource the publishing of a number of magazines. This includes a licencing agreement for the indepent publishing of Baba & Kleuter and Your Pregnancy.

In addition to this, the company wants to outsource the editorial production of Fairlady, SARIE, SA Hunter/Jagter, True Love, tuis/home, Weg!/ go! , Weg! Ry & Sleep/go! Drive & Camp, and Kuier.

In terms of newspapers, Media24 plans to close:

  • Son op Sondag
  • Sunday Sun
  • The Eastern Cape edition of Son
  • Four community newspapers in KwaZulu-Natal: Amanzimtoti Fever, East Griqualand Fever, Hillcrest Fever and Maritzburg Fever.

The company also plans to merge Noordkaap and Kalahari Bulletin into a single newspaper.

Meanwhile, it plans to merge Noordkaap Bulletin, and Kroonnuus and Vrystaat Nuus into the Vrystaat Kroonnuus.

Volksblad and Die Burger Oos-Kaap will also only be published as weekday digital editions on Netwerk24.

 

Megan Ellis, Editor
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