FAIRFAX Media’s chief executive Greg Hywood has attacked the company’s “dysfunctional” culture as talks between management and the media union over redundancies continue.
“We have to stop any dysfunctional internal competition and we can no longer afford to work in silos with little or no collaboration,” said Mr Hywood in a video emailed to all staff.
“This requires us to move from an inwardly focussed culture to an organisation that looks externally.
“In order to be successful we need to keep what is good about Fairfax and remove the negative aspects of our culture.”
Fairfax management this week agreed to extend talks with the media union – Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance – over redundancies.
The Fairfax Regional Media proposal to move 66 editorial production jobs from Australia to New Zealand last week lead to 36-hour strikes by journalists in Sydney and Melbourne.
MEAA has proposed an insourcing “sub hub” model as an alternative to the redundancies which Fairfax is considering over the weekend
The media union also said it had “called on Fairfax to cease its current ad-hoc, dripping-out of proposed changes, which will only lead to further uncertainty and disruption”.
Mr Hywood said in the staff video he had seen dysfunctional behaviour over the years at Fairfax but the company no longer had monopoly profits and could no longer afford to operate in that way.
“We no longer operate in monopoly markets that enable us to be more focused on internal issues than those of our audience.
“We have strong competitors who want to take our audiences from us and weaken us.”
The company’s core values remained independence and integrity, said Mr Hywood.
Fairfax Regional Media chief executive Allan Browne said it is pretty widely understood that the media industry is in a period of immense transition. “We have to do things differently in our businesses so that we remain a strong media voice and employer in regional Australia over the long term as we continue to evolve from a predominantly print business to a predominantly digital business,” he said.
Fairfax is currently undertaking its three year strategy to cut $170 million of cost.
Fairfax Media shares have fallen nearly 90 percent since 2008.