The Tiso Blackstar Group, which owns The Times daily newspaper, confirmed on Thursday evening it is considering closing the newspaper’s print edition to replace it with a digital-only daily product.
In a process that may “necessitate” restructuring and retrenchments, the company says it will replace the unprofitable print product with a digital-only daily edition, “which draws on successful models that have been implemented internationally”.
“The group launched The Times print edition in 2007. Despite several changes which have been introduced to the business model over the past few years, the print product has remained unprofitable,” said Andy Gill, managing director of media at the Tiso Blackstar Group.
“Changing from a print product to one that is fully digital would necessitate restructuring, and possible retrenchments,” he said.
The Times is a daily South African newspaper, published Monday and Friday, with its headquarters in Johannesburg. It also contributes to the TimesLIVE website, together with its sister publication, the Sunday Times.
Gill said the Tiso Blackstar Group had engaged with staff in a consultation process in terms of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.
“At this stage, we are not in a position to make further comment until the consultation process has progressed,” he said.