APN proposes outsourcing majority of newspaper ad production to India

Staff at the New Zealand Herald and other APN papers have been told the company intends to outsource up to 24 advertising production positions to an Indian vendor.

APN New Zealand chief executive Martin Simons says around 40 percent of its ad production staff are affected by this proposal, but bookings, layout, output and pagination workers will see their jobs safe.

The affected staff have been asked to submit their ideas on the proposal by next week. Simons says the company is reviewing whether the staff could find positions elsewhere in the business.

APN says an ad production vendor in the Sub-Continent has been chosen in case the proposal goes ahead.

Outsourcing is the latest in a string of cost reduction measures undertaken by the Australian-owned company in the midst of a tough financial year, which saw it post a loss of AUD$455.8 million here and across the Tasman. This news comes at the same time a leadership reshuffle saw the company’s overall CEO, Brett Chenoweth, resign.

Today APN announced the sale of four of its Wellington community newspapers to Blenheim Sun-publisher, Les Whiteside, for an undisclosed sum.

The Cook Strait News, Porirua News, Independent Herald, and Wainuiomata News have been transferred to the independent publisher as running businesses. 

Simons says APN has an agreement with Whiteside, who will hire on the majority of the group’s 15 staff. Others could possibly be offerred roles inside of APN, he adds. 

The Capital Community Newspapers were offered up for sale last year, alongside APN’s other South Island mastheads The Star in Christchurch and Oamaru Mail.

Asked if the sale of these properties will wane APN’s influence south of the Bombays, Simons merely dismissed the notion as ridiculous.

“We’re talking about very small community newspapers. We still have a range of successful dailies. In these isolated areas, where you don’t have a pull in the market it doesn’t make sense to carry on. It doesn’t mean we’re losing influence south of the Bombays, that’s a ridiculous notion. It means nothing,” he says.

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