One of South Africa’s top media outlets, Media24 has announced that it has started with consultations with staff about possibly closing some of its publications.
According to the company, it is mulling over closing five magazines and two newspapers and outsourcing and reducing the frequency of its remaining monthly magazines.
This decision according to Media24 is part of several interventions taken to remain in business amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has affected advertising revenue and circulation, according to the company, just as it has affected other media businesses across Africa.
In a statement Media24 said it will also consider taking two newspapers digital only and reducing staff in related support services.
Ishmet Davidson, the CEO of Media24, in a statement on Tuesday morning that “The pandemic has accelerated the pre-existing and long-term structural decline in print media, resulting in a devastating impact on our own already fragile print media operations with significant declines in both circulation and advertising since April.”
“For many of our print titles the benefits of prior interventions to offset the structural declines and keep them on the shelf no longer exist and they’ve run out of options in this regard.”
Media24 says the intended interventions would affect around 510 staff members, with a proposed reduction of 660 positions out of a total staff complement of 2 971.
It said it also intends to reduce staff in its media distribution business as well as in divisional and corporate services departments related to the proposed reduced print media operations.
“We are fully committed to managing this highly sensitive consultation with compassion while following the process as prescribed by law. Unfortunately, we cannot share any further details until the process has been concluded,” said Davidson.
Similar actions have been taken in parts of Africa where the media business is struggling to remain in business.