DRUM SET TO STOP PRINTING, SUNDAY SUN SET TO CLOSE AS COVID-19 HITS MEDIA24

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Drum Magazine. Picture: @DrumMag.

Media24 announced on Tuesday that it was considering the closure of a number of magazines and newspapers, the consolidation of some business operations and unfortunately, job losses.

JOHANNESBURG – The impact of coronavirus and the lockdown continues to be felt across the media industry, affecting more household staples.

Media24 announced on Tuesday that it was considering the closure of a number of magazines and newspapers, the consolidation of some business operations and unfortunately, job losses.

Drum magazine, which has been a staple for decades and was a symbol of defiance against apartheid in its early days, will no longer to be physically printed but will instead be online only.

The media company said that the planned interventions were expected to affect around 510 staff members (with a proposed reduction of close on 660 positions) out of a total staff complement of 2,971, largely across the print media and distribution divisions.

“From the earliest days of the pandemic in South Africa, everything we’ve done focused on two main priorities. Firstly, the health and safety of our people, and secondly, business continuity – by implication also protecting employment for as long as possible, said Ishmet Davidson, CEO of Media24.

“However, the pandemic has accelerated the pre-existing and long-term structural decline in print media, resulting in a devastating impact on our own already fragile print media operations with significant declines in both circulation and advertising since April. For many of our print titles, the benefits of prior interventions to offset the structural declines and keep them on the shelf no longer exist and they’ve run out of options in this regard.”

More to follow.

By: Lungelo Mantagira

Source: https://ewn.co.za/2020/07/07/drum-magazine-to-stop-printing-sunday-sun-to-close-as-covid-19-hits-media24