News Limited CEO Kim Williams has refused to say how many of the company's 8000 staff will be sacked in a homely address to the nation this afternoon announcing his plans to slash the media giant's cost base.

In the video announcement beamed to News employees across the country and taken live on 24-hour news channels, the freshman chief announced his long-awaited strategic rationalisation of Rupert Murdoch's local outpost -- cutting out its traditional federated structure and centralising editorial and sales arms.