**Updated with Primedia interim CEO Phumzile Langeni’s statement
The Primedia Group has joined other major media groups in announcing restructuring and the retrenchment of staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The group owns prominent radio broadcasting outlets including KFM, Cape Talk, 947, and 702. The company also owns Eyewitness News.
Primedia’s announcement follows another by publishing giant Media24 earlier this month. Media24 announced restructuring that may affect over 500 staff.
According to EWN, Primedia has initiated a Section 189 process with employees affected by the restructuring.
Retrenchments will affect all divisions of the company, including Primedia Broadcasting and Primedia Outdoor (the company’s outdoor advertising business).
“After a strategic review of the business we implemented a number of efficiency and cost-saving solutions, but unfortunately these have not been sufficient to steady the business amidst the impact of the pandemic,” acting Primedia Broadcasting CEO Geraint Crwys-Williams said according to EWN.
The number of affected staff has yet to be announced.
Memeburn will update this story should the broadcasting group share more details on planned layoffs.
According to a statement, the company said that its initiatives to prevent job losses could not offset the pandemic’s effects or ensure sustainability in the long-term.
“The expected impact on our people is a watershed moment for us, as an organization that recognises their importance in all we do and what we represent. This is a sustainability strategy
we had hoped not to have to deploy,” Primedia Group’s interim CEO Phumzile Langeni said.
“We are committed to managing this process with sensitivity and consideration to all affected employees while following the process set out in law.”
Media closures in South Africa
The media industry in South Africa has seen multiple publications shut their doors. Caxton Media and Associated Media Publishing also announced closures following the coronavirus lockdown.
Caxton has withdrawn from magazine publishing, while AMP shut down the entire media house.
According to the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF), over 700 journalist jobs lost by June due to the pandemic. This was before the recent announcements by Media24 and Primedia.
Feature image: Jonathan Velasquez on Unsplash