News Limited announces redundancies

News Limited will cut an expected 60 editorial production jobs after outsourcing the production of nine regional newspapers.

The company is outsourcing the sub-editing of The Mercury in Hobart, Sunday Tasmanian, Geelong Advertiser, The Cairns Post, Townsville Bulletin, Gold Coast Bulletin, NT News, Sunday Territorian and Centralian Advocate to Pagemasters, a subsidiary of Australian Associated Press.

News Limited did not disclose how many positions would be made redundant, however the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) said 60 editorial positions would be affected.

A News Limited spokesman said the company was "reorganising the way we do business", with changes including a $60 million investment in a new publishing system, Eidos Methode.

"As part of this investment, we are also re-organising the way we do business by outsourcing some activities to Pagemasters," he said on Thursday.

"Unfortunately some roles will become redundant.

"This is part of the structured roll-out of our transformation program which we began in July this year."

It is understood the job cuts will be made through a combination of attrition, redeployment and redundancies.

MEAA federal secretary Christopher Warren said the job cuts decision "flies in the face" of previous undertakings by News Limited and took to 500 the total number of editorial positions lost at the company in 2012.

Pagemasters managing director Peter Atkinson said the new agreement will result in Pagemasters hiring up to 40 new staff in Queensland, Victoria and Hobart.

In September, News Limited announced the outsourcing of sub-editing for more than 100 of its community newspapers to Pagemasters.

That move resulted in the loss of about 65 jobs at News Limited, while Pagemasters added 40 new staff to do the work.

Mr Atkinson said handover of work to Pagemasters would begin in the new year, with "the bulk of the work to be integrated by the end of February".

The MEAA said it expected 60 sub-editors to be made redundant by February 15, 2013.

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