Publishing rivals Fairfax and News Corp have today inked a historic agreement that sees the media companies use each other’s printing networks in an effort to cut costs.

News Corp will provide a range of printing services for Fairfax in New South Wales and Queensland and Fairfax will print publications for News Corp out of its North Richmond (NSW) plant.

Fairfax will transition work from its print centres in Beresfield (NSW) and Ormiston (Queensland) and once complete, those sites will close.

Around 120 are likely to be impacted by the closures, including permanents and casuals, unless redeployment opportunities can be identified and placed.

Fairfax CEO and MD Greg Hywood says the “landmark initiatives” demonstrate a rational approach to the complex issues facing the industry.

“The printing arrangements make the production of newspapers more efficient for both publishers,” he said.

“Better utilisation of existing print assets makes sense and will deliver economic benefits to Fairfax Media.”

Hywood adds the changes to Fairfax’s printing network result in an annualised full-year benefit of approximately $15 million.

“From today we are consulting with staff at our printing centres affected by the new arrangements. Fairfax is committed to providing comprehensive assistance and support and will meet all our employment obligations,” he said.

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said the arrangements provides benefits of scale and efficiency, but won’t impact the content produced by either publishers.

“As a publisher, we have absolute confidence in the ongoing significance of newspapers. Within this framework, we need to continue to look at the most effective and efficient ways to produce newspapers,”Miller said.

“This is a commercial deal which makes commercial sense by enabling better use of our existing print facilities.”

Fairfax says the publishers will continue to explore further opportunities.

News supplied by ADNEWS

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