Media24 will close four of its KwaZulu-Natal community newspaper titles, the publishing group said on Tuesday.
“Media24 continuously reviews the performance of its entire portfolio. As a result we have in principle taken a decision to close a few loss-making local newspapers in our extensive portfolio of community titles,” spokeswoman Anika Ebrahim said in a statement.
The affected titles were Zululand Fever, Ulundi Fever, Ballito Fever and Durban North Fever. Upper Coast Fever would not be closed.
Ebrahim said a pre-consultation meeting was held with staff at the affected titles and the consultation process was explained to them.
“During that meeting, staff were given an overview of the business, the cost-cutting initiatives which had already been implemented and the alternatives that had been considered.”
The consultation process, which would begin next week, would determine how many staff would be retrenched, Ebrahim said.
All payments to staff would be made in line with the Labour Relations Act once the process has been finalised.
“Local newspapers remain a core component of our nationwide newspaper portfolio and we will continue to seek growth opportunities to expand our footprint,” Ebrahim said.