Hundreds of jobs to go as Covid-19 forces Media24 to fold two newspapers and five magazines

Media24 will close some of its magazines and newspapers, proposing a reduction of close to 660 positions out of a total of 2,971. Stock photo.
Media24 will close some of its magazines and newspapers, proposing a reduction of close to 660 positions out of a total of 2,971. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Benjamas Sremugda

Media24 is considering the closure of five magazines and two newspapers - along with staff cuts - in a restructuring shake-up accelerated by the "devastating" financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” Ishmet Davidson, CEO of Media24, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“For many of our print titles, the benefits of prior interventions to offset the structural declines and keep them on the shelf no longer exist and they’ve run out of options in this regard.”

The shake-up would accelerate the “transition to an increasingly digital world” for the business.

The changes are expected to affect around 510 staff members, with a proposed reduction of close to 660 positions out of a total staff of 2,971, mostly across the print media and distribution divisions.

Among the affected titles are magazines Move!, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Bicycling and Runner’s World which will close completely.

Drum will be published in digital format only.

The tabloids Son op Sondag and Sunday Sun will be closed.

“Even with a return to pre-Covid-19 economic levels, the impact of the pandemic on our print media operations will be unrecoverable. Sadly, we have no choice but to restructure our business now to curtail the losses in our print portfolio and allow us to focus on keeping the retained titles sustainable and in print for as long as possible,” said Davidson.

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