SYDNEY: Top editors at Australian newspapers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald resigned Monday, after parent company Fairfax last week announced an overhaul designed to embrace the digital era.
Peter Fray, publisher and editor-in-chief at the 180-year-old Sydney paper, and its first female editor Amanda Wilson, said they were leaving, as did The Age’s editor-in-chief Paul Ramadge. Their resignations pushed shares in the company down one cent to 57 cents, a record closing low.
It follows last week’s shock announcement that Fairfax will slash about 1,900 jobs and downsize The Herald and The Age from broadsheet to tabloid size and put the two dailies’ websites behind a paywall.
Ramadge, who is expected to depart next month, said he was leaving the influential Melbourne newspaper with “divided feelings” after several weeks of talks, but added that he backed the group’s new direction.
The Australian media sector is enduring a turbulent period, with the two major newspaper groups Fairfax and Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited both flagging large job cuts last week.
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has increased her stake in Fairfax, provoking fears she will seek to assert influence on the newspapers, known for their integrity and professionalism.