Nine to cut 200 jobs after Meta pulls the pin on Media Code deals


Sneesby: “In order for us to be able to keep investing in digital growth opportunities across Nine, we must continue to responsibly manage costs through the cycle.”

Nine CEO Mike Sneesby has announced to staff that the company will be cutting “around 200 jobs” in its publishing business to “offset the loss of revenue from the Meta deal and challenges in the advertising market.”

In a note sent out to staff this morning, Sneesby said Nine was not immune to the “economic headwinds which are impacting many businesses globally.”

“In order for us to be able to keep investing in digital growth opportunities across Nine, we must continue to responsibly manage costs through the cycle,” he said.

“Last financial year we were able to improve the efficiency of our operations but in light of recent market events we are reviewing key parts of our business to identify further potential savings.

“Today we will announce measures in our Publishing business to offset the loss of revenue from the Meta deal and challenges in the advertising market. Unfortunately, this will result in some of our colleagues leaving us in the coming months.

“It is not something we want to do but it is something we need to do to continue to build on a successful platform of high-quality journalism and digital subscription growth.”

Sneesby also said Nine is in the process of identifying further savings measures in its digital and broadcast businesses. 

“An operational review of these businesses is underway and we will update you with further details about what this means for you and your teams in the coming weeks.”

Where possible, Nine states it will look for opportunities to redeploy team members who are impacted. 

“We will support them throughout the process,” Sneesby wrote.

“These are tough decisions and I acknowledge it will be an uncertain period for some of you.

“It’s important to reiterate that Nine remains in a strong position. All of our business units are either completely digital or have rapidly growing digital revenues – and each one maintains a leading position in their respective markets.”

Nine’s managing director – publishing, Tory Maguire wrote in a note to staff it was “clear Nine need to evolve its operating model and reset the publishing business to create a sustainable future for the masthead.”

“Over coming weeks the leadership team, including the editors, will be working on a plan to reduce staff costs, including in the newsrooms,” he wrote.

“This is the first time we have had to take headcount out of editorial since 2017, which is an extraordinary anomaly when you look at other news publishers around the country and the rest of the world.

“We will be focused on finding efficiencies where we can, and making prudent decisions so we can continue to invest in growth areas that are driving subs. We are looking at reducing the publishing division headcount by between 70 and 90 staff over coming months.

“I expect the planning for this to be completed over the next few weeks and in mid-July I will explain how we’re going to proceed. I appreciate this will be an uncertain time for everyone as we work through the details, and that some much loved colleagues will leave the business as a result. We will act with care throughout.”

The latest development adds to a number of departures from the network. Earlier this month, Peter Costello stepped down as Nine Entertainment chairman and resigned as a director, three days after an altercation with a News Corp journalist.

Nine Entertainment is currently investigating its TV newsroom culture after multiple allegations of inappropriate behaviour were made against former national director of news and current affairs, Darren Wick. In March it was announced Wick, Nine’s ex-national director of news and current affairs, was leaving the network after 29 years at the company, 13 years in the position, and more than a month away from the office.

He announced his departure in a staff email seen by Mediaweek, writing: “After many long beach walks and even longer conversations, I know in my heart that this is the right time for me to step down and leave Nine.”

Wick held multiple roles over the course of his career at Nine, including executive producer of The Today Show and A Current Affair.

The allegations have put pressure on CEO Mike Sneesby, with questions raised about who – if anyone – in management knew of the complaints before Wick’s departure.

This past Wednesday it was confirmed that the role of chief information and technology officer, held by Memo Hayek, had been made redundant following a merger between the network’s product engineering and product management teams

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