June 20, 2012 / 4:58 AM / 6 years ago

News Corp cuts costs, jobs in Australia

News Corporation Chief Executive and Chairman Rupert Murdoch leaves after giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry at the High Court in London in a April 26, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/files

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O) announced sweeping changes in Australia on Wednesday, including job cuts and shrinking the number of its divisions from 19 to five, the latest local media group to restructure in the face of declining ad sales.

Kim Williams, the chief executive of local arm News Ltd, said he planned to centralize sales, marketing, finance and administration, and would fold the group’s digital divisions into the new structure.

“We cannot say how many positions will be made redundant,” Williams said in a statement, adding that the company’s print publications had a strong future.

News, which publishes national broadsheet The Australian and tabloids The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, said the changes could take up to two years.

Australian rival Fairfax Media FXJ.AX this week said it will cut 1,900 jobs over three years from its staff of 10,000, shut two printing plants and reduce broadsheet newspapers to tabloid formats as it refocuses to online.

News Corp (NWSA.O) made a $2 billion takeover offer for Australia’s Consolidated Media Holdings CMJ.AX earlier on Wednesday as it seeks to double its stake in Australia’s dominant pay TV business Foxtel to 50 percent, and take 100 percent of content provider Fox Sports.

Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Richard Pullin

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