News International to cut nearly 100 jobs

News International plans to cut nearly 100 journalists’ jobs as part of a £30m cost-cutting drive, the company announced today.

The UK arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, which publishes The Sun, News of the World, the Times and the Sunday Times, told its 1,400 editorial staff that it would be seeking ‘less than 100’redundancies. The company said it would prefer to carry out the redundancies on a voluntary basis though compulsory cuts have not been ruled out.

The cuts represent seven per cent of the entire workforce.

At least 30 jobs are to go at the Times and 20 at News of the World. More cuts are expected to be announced at The Sun and the Sunday Times, and News International’s Scottish editions.

Sunday Times editor John Witherow informed his staff the paper needed to make savings of £2.5m.

An insider said: “They have not really explained why there are going ahead with the cuts but it’s obvious that thelondonpaper has put a squeeze on things – there is no doubt it has been a disaster in terms of revenue. It’s likely that they are going to expand online.

“They did it in a civilised manner and they are offering very good terms,” he added.

A spokesperson for NI confirmed there would be redundancies.

NI staff, who have no union, were told of the cuts today by News International Staff Association secretary Chris Holmes. He told them there would be a 30-day legal consultation with NI’s parent group News Group Newspapers.

NI executive chairman Les Hinton told senior bosses that the cuts were intended to ‘make the business as efficient as possible”.

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