News International: 100 jobs to be axed across all newspapers
More than 100 jobs are set to be axed at News International, it was announced today.
Chief executive Tom Mockridge told staff in an internal memo there would also be "discussions" with editors across the newspaper group's titles about the use of casual staff.
It is understood that all departments at The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times will be hit by the job losses, including editorial staff.
Mr Mockridge wrote: "In the period to the end of this financial year, we expect to reduce the News International workforce by 110 staff positions, out of a workforce of approximately 3,000. In addition, there will be discussions with editors about the use of casuals.
"From today we will be announcing changes to our business, starting with the areas first affected, and yesterday we began consultation with our staff association NISA over the proposals.
"Despite this tough news, I have great confidence in NI and our future. We are continuing to invest in new products and quality content to protect our future and better equip us for the changing markets."
It had been "an extremely testing time" for everyone at News International, he said, in an apparent reference to the hacking scandal that rocked the Rupert Murdoch-owned company over the summer and resulted in the closure of the News of the World.
Mr Mockridge told staff that 89 former News of the World employees had taken up the enhanced redundancy terms on offer to them, but did not provide further detail.
He wrote: "We continue to do everything we can to find jobs for those who were directly affected by the closure and already 23 positions around the business have been made available. We are also developing a digital business which will offer a further 21 jobs."
He thanked News International staff for their "hard work and perseverance during this difficult period".
The company has been seeking efficiencies for some time, he said, and over the last few months some 100 vacancies have been left unfilled.
But at the same time it is investing in a new editorial system, a new customer management system in marketing and sales to improve the management of subscriptions to the titles, and a "web and app" development to give customers more choice about how they receive News International content, it was announced.
Mr Mockridge wrote: "These proposals are the result of long-standing plans which I, and the rest of the executive team, believe to be key to ensuring our titles, our brands and our future in print and digital remain an indispensable part of the national and international media."
The memo was sent a day after the company revealed it was to sell its old Wapping site and entirely relocate its stable of titles to its nearby Thomas More Square base, in east London.
The announcement prompted anger from the National Union of Journalists.
Barry Fitzpatrick, head of publishing, said: "Rupert Murdoch received a £12.5 million bonus from News Corp for the last financial year and it is a disgrace he is going to make staff redundant.
"The money was generated by hard-working employees who have remained loyal during the present crisis. The announcement is a kick in the teeth and the money should be spent on investment and jobs rather than rewarding executives at the top."