Nine swings the axe: Up to 200 jobs to go, Meta deal to blame

Nine Entertainment has become the third Australian publisher to announce mass layoffs in the past four weeks following the loss of a lucrative content deal with Meta and a slump in the advertising market.

Jun 28, 2024, updated Jul 01, 2024
Nine's Chief Executive Mike Sneesby.

Nine's Chief Executive Mike Sneesby.


The newspaper owner and TV broadcaster says it will eliminate 200 roles, or about four per cent of its nearly 5,000 staff.

Nine chief executive Mike Sneesby told staff in a memo on Friday the media business was in a stronger position than any of its rivals but was not immune to economic headwinds impacting many companies globally.

Some of the job losses would come from axing vacant positions and new roles would be found for some whose current positions are being cut, but others would be made redundant.

“It is not something we want to do but it is something we need to do to continue to build on a successful platform of high-quality journalism and digital subscription growth,” he said in an email seen by AAP.

The Australian Financial Review, a Nine publication, reported that between 70 and 90 positions would go its publishing business, which also includes The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Another 38 jobs will be cut from TV news and current affairs, with the remainder from corporate and digital, the AFR reported.

Mr Sneesby emphasised that Nine remained in a strong position.

“All of our business units are either completely digital or have rapidly growing digital revenues – and each one maintains a leading position in their respective markets,” he said.

All of Australia will be turning to Nine’s platforms – its television, publishing, digital and radio arms and its Stan streaming service – for the Paris Olympics, which will showcase what a truly integrated media company can deliver, Mr Sneesby added.

Friday’s layoff announcement is the third major set of redundancies by a major Australian media outlet in recent weeks following the loss of the multimillion-dollar Meta deal.

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On Tuesday, Seven West Media proposed eliminating up to 150 roles, including journalists from TV and print divisions as well as sales, marketing and print staff, according to several media reports.

“While we have controlled costs in recent years and our content is doing well across TV, digital and print, our high cost base of about $1.2 billion a year is not sustainable and needs to be reduced,” chief executive Jeff Howard said in a memo obtained by the Daily Mail.

“A number of roles across the company will change and unfortunately some people will be losing us.”

Mr Howard said the need to reduce costs had been created by a number of factors, including the shift from watching linear TV to streaming, the rise of Netflix and Amazon and others, and their launch of ad-funding models.

But Meta deciding not to renew the content deal “certainly has not helped”, he added.

Under pressure from the government, Meta in 2021 signed confidential three-year deals with 13 Australian news companies to compensate them for their content.

Meta has declined to renew the pacts, which were reportedly worth a total of around $70 million a year for the Australian news industry.

In late May, News Corp Australia began its own restructuring, which included an unknown number of job losses. Among those let go were Lisa Muxworthy, the editor-in-chief of, and John McGourty, group director of the Editorial Innovation Centre.

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