Independent mum on effect of cost cuts on jobs
Independent Media group to restructure and consider retrenching staff
The Independent Media group has confirmed that it is restructuring, but not saying how many jobs will be affected.
The group, which owns or has stakes in newspapers including The Star, Cape Argus, Cape Times and The Mercury, reportedly has to cut costs at divisions including lifestyle, sport, politics, editorial production and live editors. Independent Media sent section 189 letters to staff in these divisions.
The confirmation comes after Independent Media chairman Dr Iqbal Survé and Business Report editor Adri Senekal de Wet claimed the group was highly profitable.
The group, like its competitors, has had to move away from print media towards online and multimedia to stay profitable. The letters said that the group had to make more income from nonprint sources and faced competition from overseas media and media houses using better technology than it had been using for years.
The section 189 letter seen by Business Day said the restructuring process had to be completed by December 20.
"There are ongoing pressures on the sustainability of media businesses, forcing them to reduce their dependence on print revenues as the primary source of income.
"The constant pressure on the media industry with declining revenues, increasing costs and the continued competition by overseas technology platforms brings us to a point where we have to review our team structures and to reorganise our workflows," the letter said.