Sophie Vorrath writes:

Fairfax CEO David Kirk is on the record as saying that while a lot of factors determine the quality of newspapers, “the number of journalists is not one of them.” Same goes for his magazines, apparently.

Yesterday staff at Fairfax’s weekly business magazine flagship BRW discovered that 13 in their ranks had accepted the voluntary redundancies offered in late April as part of the “restructuring” of the magazine, which will see its headquarters moved from Melbourne to Sydney.

Having already lost their editor, Tony Featherstone – who quit ahead of the changes in late March – BRW staff were told by management yesterday that nine members of the magazine’s editorial staff and four from production had accepted voluntary redundancies from Fairfax Business Media, MEAA rep Louise Connor told Crikey this morning.

And while the names of those departing have not been revealed, Crikey understands that most or all of the departing nine editorial staff are senior BRW editors and writers – mostly from the magazine’s Melbourne office – including Simon Lloyd, Beth Quinlivan, Amanda Gome, Nicholas Way, Emily Ross, Michael Laurence and John Kavanagh. Senior writer Philip Rennie and Canberra Bureau Chief Tom Stotnicki may also be among the number.

Fairfax management have claimed the move from Melbourne to Sydney and the accompanying redundancies are necessary to reverse the decline in BRW‘s readership. But the changes have caused some speculation that this is the beginning of the end for the business magazine.

As for the mood at BRW after all the upheaval – it’s “sad but resigned”, says Connor. “It’s the end of an era.”

Peter Fray

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