West Australian Newspapers has significantly increased the size of a redundancy program announced earlier this month, with approximately 90 full time staff departing the group under the organisational restructure as reported in The Australian.
West Australian Newspapers, whose largest shareholder is Kerry Stoke's Seven Network with more than 23 per cent of the group, confirmed yesterday that a large number of voluntary redundancies had resulted in 8.6 per cent of full-time staff departing the company.
West Australian Newspapers chief Chris Wharton told The Australian the redundancies had been "virtually" all voluntary. "We thought that about 5 per cent (of full time staff) was where we wanted it to be, but more than that put their hands up," he said. "There was an opportunity to do it, and we did it."
Mr Wharton said that job ads remained "well down", and real estate remained "soft", however, "Motoring and national advertising have stabilised at good levels, and financial institutions and mobile phone companies are coming back in to the ad market."
In an interview to appear in Media Trends + Strategy, to be published next week, Chris Wharton spoke about the future of West Australian Newspapers and their co-branding strategy.
"The benefits of the co-brand will be, increased audience and traffic (both in WA and Australia wide); having access to a national online news service/network while retaining local branding and delivering local content; and increased quality of content across all areas of the site."
Wharton went on to say, "For advertising clients there will be opportunities to provide national reach across the entire Yahoo!7 network; better ad targeting tools (behavioural and demographic targeting); and access to Yahoo!7's performance advertising system which disposes of unsold inventory."
He finished by saying, "West Australian Newspapers will actively push and promote its online offering and show customers how they can integrate thewest.com.au offering with their newspaper activity."
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