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Job losses confirmed at NZ Herald

UPDATE: A source familiar with the situation has confirmed to NBR that eight positions are "going" at APN's NZ operation, but the "redundancy" word is not being used.

All are roles with the NZ Herald.

Staff at NZ Herald publisher APN have been called to a 4.45pm meeting today.

NBR ONLINE has been told that some editorial positions are being made redundant, including some well-known names, one of whom is said to be "shaken".

APN CEO Martin Simons told NBR some positions would be merged as the organisation aligned its online and print teams. He would not comment on numbers.

In August, APN announced a $A370 million ($NZ479.6m) write-down in the value of its metropolitan mastheads, including the NZ Herald.

On November 19, APN said it was selling its South Island newspapers, including the Christchurch Star, and its Wellington community papers.

Editorial staff have been waiting for some weeks for today's on-again, off-again announcement.

Comments and questions

Ooh, do dish the dirt. Any going at the granny?

Maybe if they were a bit less biased in their reporting their readership wouldn't be down and they might still have jobs.

Let's face it, the Herald has become a weak left-wing based tabloid that is afraid to report on or ask about the real issues that face New Zealand. The only thing they seem to be capable of now is taking pot shots at John Key. If they went any further to the left they would become part of Stuff. No surprises no one reads it any more.

You are on the money! Such a left-wing paper.

You're wrong. They're right, not left.

Nice one guys. Always good to see cowardly comments by anonymous posters. Shouldn't we be more concerned that eight more New Zealanders are losing their jobs?

Shouldn't we be delighetd that the market has spoken. Had these eight contributed to a product the market was willing to pay for, then they would have hired more people. Why should APN or any company pay welfare to those who are not contributing. That's the job of the Labour and Green parties.

@anonymous What utter bollocks, "the market has spoken". That phrase is so overused and abused. You talk about contributing to a product the market was willing to pay for - the market doesn't pay for anything, customers do. Ignorant, ill-informed and short-sighted right-wing twaddle doesn't help anyone.

The market as you put it is bad for all publications for several reasons:

1) Digital substitution - Most go online to read nowadays (or have an e-reader). That is killing the print market (but not trees).

2) Online advertising - This has long been the bread and butter of the industry, but thanks to cheap as chips online adverts, the margin has all but evapourated from print advertising.

Let's move forward in time to an Auckland with no local paper. I think it'll be a very sad place indeed.

Karryn, it's not the economy causing the problem, it's the style of reporting. I skim their website but never read the hard copy, as I'm sure plenty of other people do.

Surely Karryn, your post is anonymous. Just how many Karryns do you think there are in New Zealand?
There are good reasons to be totally or mostly anonymous and very little gain from disclosure of partial or full names. Who cares about the name if it adds nothing to the message? Many people would be disadvantaged if their full names were disclosed. Think employment and business, for a start.
As long as moderators weed out nonsense, let anonymity continue to encourage discourse.

As for the job losses, things change and life goes on. However, I will admit that capitalism has yet to find an answer to job losses. I believe there is an answer but it involves doing away with corporate tax and replacing it with "social" liabilities and responsibility where a real difference can be made. Socialist governments have had nearly 100 years and has obviously failed to come up with a useful solution to job losses.

Job losses were a frequent event long before "socialist (sic) governments", with the advent of the spinning jenny, for example. Before that, the invention of the printing press deprived scribes of their jobs. Examples abound. An informed historical perspective can greatly improve debate.

This is very bad news for New Zealand's media. We need more staff in newsrooms, not less. While newsrooms shrink, PR firms increase their staff. We now have a situation where press releases set the agenda, instead of reporters getting off-diary stories.
One can only assume APN is cutting staff to make the paper appear more profitable before it is sold. A very short-sighted move.
Perhaps it's time for out-of-work journalists to join up and start their own news site.

Fewer journalists and they believe they can eventually put up a paywall. Keep dreaming, NZH.

Perhaps Karryn, but from conversations with my friends, they are no longer buying the Herald, not because of digital alternatives but because of editorial quality, or the lack of it. Responsibility lies with the editor.

From the time this venerable organ (no, don't go there) fell into the hands of the poor man's Murdoch, Tony Reilly, it was doomed. The difference between the two (there are many) is that Murdoch hires strong and feisty editors with opinions. The Irishman always preferred wimps.
Look to the dailies, worldwide, which are thriving and you'll see strong editors.
Those journos are victims of that limpid....and to finish with the organ reference....flaccid environment, which persists. While the town knows that Nevil Gibson runs the NBR, no one knows who has run the Herald for a decade or more, which was the way TOR liked it, but readers don't.

The bias in the Herald is so obvious. Hence the loss of readers. How about improving the quality? Maybe the redundancies are to sweep out the dead wood to enable others to flourish. The country has far bigger issues than eight job losses.

There are a lot more than eight positions going company-wide. I'm aware of just one dept that is losing that many.

Their reporting is woeful now, and it's only going to get worse... I wonder at what point they hit the tipping point and can't pull out of the dive....

I hope the reporting staff are left untouched. I like the real-life stories - for example, of people parking their cars in Auckland CBD and having items stolen from the back seat.

It's bad news for the people losing their jobs, so nothing good about that. However, NZH has long been an instrument of negativity and if you read the headlines every day, you'd wonder why you lived here. Wouldn't it be great to have a national paper that celebrated the people who make a difference and properly investigated those who don't. Bashing the government of the day is pointless as governments don't make a country great. People do.

The quality of journalism at APN is absolutely appalling. The best we seem to get is stories on cars accidents, drink driving and petty crime stories. As readers, these journalists continue to insult our intelligence with the cr*p they write. No sympathy from me. Anyone losing their job at APN need to only look at themselves as to why they have.

Never, anonymous. Isn't this a lot about the move from digital to print? I don't get a print paper, but I still access media, including the Herald, on my tablet. Of course, I don't look at any advertising which, besides the cost of printing, impacts on revenues that traditional newspapers rely on. I also have lots of other media, such as social, to learn about what is going on in the world.

Print newspapers all over the globe are being disrupted. Publishers need to innovate in a hurry. Those losing their jobs weren't the decision makers, were they?

APN have tried to innovate by getting their journalists to try and write sensationlist headlines and articles. It has actually had a negative result for their readership figures. This sort tacky jouranlism just won't work in NZ and the sooner APN realise this the better.

What about the pending job losses in the IT department? There will be more than 8 leaving the building. And Media Services? Seems to be monthly restructures in the big house this year...But the CEO remains at the helm.