Fairfax restructured

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The media is in the midst of change. As customers are becoming more tech savvy and seeking information in a paperless world, companies need to adapt or be left in the dust.

Fairfax Media Limited (FXJ.AX) is the latest to respond to the digital age, announcing today that it is changing its organisational and reporting structure of its operations. The next phase of Fairfax’s transformation begins with simplifying organisational structure to optimise openings in the market that are largely digital related.

The Australian Financial Review has already taken steps to ensure its viability in the future, charging $59 per month for its digital subscriptions as well as introducing Apps for mobile and iPad devices. This move will combine Fairfax’s organisation into five business divisions including Australian Publishing Media, Domain, Digital Ventures as well as Fairfax Radio and Fairfax New Zealand.

It is understood that journalists and editors-in-chief from The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review will remain focused on mastheads and delivering for their audiences.

The restructure of the executive leadership team will claim some scalps, with five of the existing team replaced with three new roles. Jack Matthews and Allan Browne will be assisting with the transition then leaving Fairfax but both say they happy with their experiences and wish the company all the best in the future.

With Fairfax’s recent rally up the stock market, this could be the evidence some sideline investors have needed to entice them into the shares. Up from $0.39 in early November, shares will open today at $0.61. But it’s not all great news at Fairfax, after mining billionaire Gina Rinehart of Hancock Prospecting recently subpoenaed journalists Adele Ferguson and a reporter at The West Australian. Rinehart is the largest shareholder in Fairfax.

Foolish takeaway

After News Corporation Limited’s (NWS.AX) Rupert Murdoch attacked the ALP over the 457-class skilled visa programme, it seems reporting outlets are making their own news. It is highly likely the local share market will fall today after poor U.S jobs data but Fairfax might be more appealing to investors as it focuses on reducing bureaucracy and enabling greater collaboration.

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