SYDNEY -- News Corp. will cease print publication at more than 100 local Australian newspapers in a massive shakeup that will focus on online content, Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate said on Thursday.
This move affects about 90% of the regional newspaper portfolio at subsidiary News Corp. Australia. Of the roughly 110 papers affected, 76 will transition to an all-digital format.
The remaining publications will be shuttered completely. The economic stagnation caused by the novel coronavirus epidemic has crashed print advertising revenues, prompting the decision, the company said.
"To meet these changing trends, we are reshaping News Corp Australia to focus on where consumers and businesses are moving and to strengthen our position as Australia's leading digital news media company," Executive Chairman Michael Miller said.
Local media outlets reported that hundreds of jobs will be lost as part of the reorganization. News Corp. has warned about job losses, but has not disclosed the scale of the job losses.
National newspapers like The Australian will continue to publish print versions.
Australia's newspaper industry struggled long before the global pandemic. Fairfax Media, the publisher of The Australian Financial Review, agreed to a 2018 buyout by broadcasting group Nine Entertainment.