Under the agreements, News Corp Australia will provide seven-day printing services to Fairfax in NSW and Queensland. Fairfax will print some publications for News Corp out of its North Richmond plant. Once these changes have been completed, Fairfax’s printing centres in Beresfield and Ormiston will close.
Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood said: “The agreements deliver greater cost variabilisation, enabling us to produce newspapers well into the future.
“Our decision to rationalise some printing assets reduces capital intensity. We expect the combination of the new arrangements and the changes to Fairfax’s printing network to result in an annualised full-year benefit of approximately $15 million. The financial benefits are expected to begin towards the end of FY19 H1.
“From today we are consulting with staff at our printing centres affected by the new arrangements. Fairfax is committed to providing comprehensive assistance and support and will meet all our employment obligations.”
News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said: “As a publisher, we have absolute confidence in the ongoing significance of newspapers. Within this framework, we need to continue to look at the most effective and efficient ways to produce newspapers.
“This is a commercial deal that makes commercial sense by enabling better use of our existing print facilities.”
In addition to this arrangement, News Corp and Fairfax have both announced that they are continuing talks to identify further opportunities.
Miller noted that the arrangement has no crossover or impact on content from either publisher.
The new agreement mirrors arrangements made by HT&E Media (formerly APN Media) in New Zealand, where it prints certain Fairfax newspaper titles. Meanwhile, News UK in Britain also prints its competitors’ newspapers such as Daily Mail, Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph (UK) and the Daily Express.
The new printing arrangement between News Corp Australia and Fairfax will commence this month.