Media24 staff are shocked and unnerved over possible mass job losses

Published Jun 14, 2024


Several editors have said that they were shocked by the news that Media24 was weighing its options and may shut down four of its print publications.

An editor told TimesLIVE that employees are shocked and are reeling at the news.

“We are reeling from shock. The idea that we could be unemployed before the end of the year hit home. That our CEO (Ishmet Davidson) could not say to those writing about the impending closure that they would not shut us down, hit a nerve,” the editor said.

Yesterday, Moneyweb reported that City Press, Rapport, Beeld and the Daily Sun could close and that it could be as early as October.

Moneyweb said that four sources at the media company have independently confirmed that a decision has been made to close the newspapers, while the only print publication that will remain in circulation is Die Burger.

Life-changing decision

Several staff members have now reached out to TimesLIVE and have said that this is a potentially life-changing decision.

Moreover, the staff have been unnerved by the poor communication illustrated by the heads at Media24.

“We are reeling from shock. The idea that we could be unemployed before the end of the year hit home,” the source said.

The staff member added that the editors were not brought into the discussion.

“If there is such a discussion, why not invite the editors to the discussion table? At this rate, we would have woken up to a shocking decision in October and headed straight to a terrible December holiday. The leak at least helps us to take out our CVs,” the source added.

Davidson responds

Davidson has spoken to Moneyweb and said that Media24 is constantly reviewing its operations to protect the viability and long-term sustainability of the company.

He acknowledged that Media24, like most newspapers, are transitioning to a more digital media landscape.

“We will also continue to consult with staff about any potential and subsequent actions and remain committed to following due process. We do not comment on rumours or speculation, nor the details of any internal processes,” Davidson said.

There is still hope for staff

Davidson told BusinessLIVE that the decision to cut the four newspapers is not set in stone and that the company is weighing multiple options.

“We are looking at the entire business,” he emphasised.

However, some staff are not happy with Davidson’s response.

“I accept no decision is taken. Why not say, without any equivocation, that we are not shutting down but considering moving operations online? Why not rule out a total shutdown? That will calm the nerves. If a shutdown eventuates, it’s going to be a bloodbath,” the staff member said.

Naspers share price

The Naspers share price took a hard knock on Friday as the market reacted to the news of the four titles being scrapped.

The share price dropped by 2.70% and was trading at around R3,743 at 4.30pm on Friday.

At 9am this morning, the share price was trading at around R3,847.