News Corp’s UK arm has indicated it will “limit recruitment” of new employees as Rupert Murdoch’s international media group seeks to cut 5% of its workforce.
Robert Thomson, the chief executive of News Corp, announced on Thursday that he expected a “5% headcount reduction, or around 1,250 positions,” this year as he spoke of how rising interest rates and inflation had hurt the business.
In an earnings call with investors, he confirmed that the 5% reduction would be “across all businesses, and it will be conducted in [the] coming months with a view to concluding this calendar year”.
Staff at News UK, News Corp’s British arm that owns The Sun, Times, Sunday Times, TalkTV and other brands, have heard nothing from the company on Friday.
A spokesperson for News UK told Press Gazette: “At News UK, we continue to invest in our strategic priorities and have already starting taking measures to address our costbase and to limit recruitment.”
While some jobs may be lost this year, News UK is understood to be hopeful that it can produce savings by using headcount freezes and reassessing whether certain vacancies need to be filled.
Last week Press Gazette revealed that News UK had proposed a merger between The Times Scotland and Sunday Times Scotland, with a consultation on potential job losses underway.
In his earnings call on Thursday, Thomson singled out The Sun for praise, noting that it had recorded strong digital advertising revenue growth, in part thanks to its US expansion.
News UK’s revenues fell by 10% during the last three months of 2022, but this was due to the fall in the value of the pound. On a constant currency basis, News UK revenues were up 3%.
News Corp revealed in its earnings that The Times, Sunday Times and Times Literary Supplement had 489,000 digital subscribers at the end of 2022, up from 399,000 at the end of 2021.
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