Media24 will shut down these magazines and newspaper titles
Covid-19 financial strain could see the closure of at least five magazines and two newspapers, as well as the reduced frequency of many other print publications under the Media24 stable.
The media company announced on Tuesday that it would have to consolidate some of its business operations, which could affect hundreds of jobs.
The group says it will be outsourcing and reducing the frequency of its remaining monthly magazines while two newspapers will move to a digital-only offering.
The publisher will also reduce staff in related support services.
Media24 says it will start consultations with its staff regarding the planned interventions.
Media24 says the planned interventions are expected to affect around 510 staff members, with a proposed reduction of close on 660 positions out of a total staff complement of 2 971.
Here's what the media company is proposing in its magazine portfolio:
- Closing the following magazines: Move! and the Hearst portfolio publications, which include Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Bicycling, Runner’s World.
- Publish DRUM magazine in digital format only.
- Enter into a licensing agreement with editor Helen Schöer to publish the parenting titles (Baba & Kleuter and Your Pregnancy) independently.
- Outsource the editorial production of the remaining monthly magazine: Fairlady, SARIE, SA Hunter/Jagter, True Love, tuis | home, Weg! | go! and Weg! Ry & Sleep | go! Drive & Camp, as well as the fortnightly Kuier.
- Monthly titles will only get six issues per year, and eight issues for tuis | home, SA Hunter/Jagter and Man Magnum.
- Flagship weeklies Huisgenoot, YOU and Landbouweekblad will continue to be produced and published in-house.
Here's what the media company is proposing in its newspaper portfolio:
- The following newspapers will be closed: Close Son op Sondag, Sunday Sun, and the Eastern Cape edition of Son.
- Volksblad and Die Burger Oos-Kaap will be published as weekday digital editions only, available as complete PDFs on Netwerk24.
- Close four community newspapers in KwaZulu-Natal: Amanzimtoti Fever, East Griqualand Fever, Hillcrest Fever and Maritzburg Fever.
- Noordkaap and Kalahari Bulletin will be consolidated into a single newspaper called Noordkaap Bulletin.
- Kroonnuus and Vrystaat Nuus which will become Vrystaat Kroonnuus.
- Theewaterskloof Gazette will be incorporated into Hermanus Times.
- The digital transition of The Witness will be accelerated.
The group also intends to reduce staff in its media distribution business as well as in divisional and corporate services departments related to the proposed reduced print media operations.
"The pandemic has accelerated the pre-existing and long-term structural decline in print media, resulting in a devastating impact on our own already fragile print media operations with significant declines in both circulation and advertising since April", Media24 CEO Ishmet Davidson said in a statement.
Huge announcement from @media24 this morning. Several magazines, newspapers being affected. Drum, an iconic title, goes online only. Many are closing. Many are reducing in frequency. This follows closure of Associated Mags last month too. So sad for the industry! pic.twitter.com/KCSVA0OSrL— Mandy Wiener (@MandyWiener) July 7, 2020
The impact of coronavirus and the lockdown continues to be felt across the media industry, particularly print media.
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