Bauer Media has announced that, due to the impact of COVID-19 in Australia, and the correlated decrease in advertising revenue, it is proposing to temporarily suspend the print publication of certain titles and to restructure parts of the business.
The proposal means that 70 Bauer staff will be made redundant and a similar number stood down.
The affected brands’ digital assets will continue to operate. The decision to resume print publication will be made once the trading environment improves.
At a meeting with staff today, Brendon Hill, Australia CEO, said: “These are unprecedented times. The COVID-19 crisis and the strict measures being taken to control it are having a profound impact on the Australian economy and any business that operates in it. This has led to a sharp decrease in advertising revenues in Australia over the short term and we have had to reshape our organisation accordingly.”
The decision comes just hours after Bauer Media decided to cancel the 2020 TV Week Logie Awards.
The meeting with staff was conducted online and after Hill spoke, he left it to new head of sales Andrew Cook to answer staff questions.
There were no details of the Bauer Media brands impacted as Hill and Cook explained the staff impacted by the redundancies and stand downs had yet to be informed. There has been speculation that the fashion brands and some of the weeklies will be paused. With redundancies of 70 there could also be some brands that might be closed completely.
The decision to bench 140 staff comes just hours before the business is due to assume control of the Pacific Magazine titles. Friday May 1 is the day staff at Pacific believe they will commence working for Bauer Media.