Nine CEO Mike Sneesby (right) with Nine chairman Peter Costello (left)
Nine CEO Mike Sneesby (right) with Nine chairman Peter Costello (Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

Nine’s Fairfax newspapers are doing what not so long ago seemed unfashionable, if not outright undoable -- they are in the market for journalists. How come?

The reason for this modest interest in expansion can be gleaned from Nine’s annual accounts this week, which show the publishing business reported, at $117 million, its highest operating profit in the year to June 30 since the Nine-Fairfax merger three years ago.

Thanks to an estimated $30-40 million from Google and Facebook news industry deals, the result is expected to get better this coming year.