News 'adapts' with virus supplement and content changes, flags job losses

News Corp Australia has flagged job losses and short time while launching a national coronavirus supplement as part of what it says is "the biggest single repositioning of (its) mastheads in living memory".

Metro tabloids are first with an eight-page 'HiberNation' section which gathers TV and entertainment guides and recipes with practical advice and tips to help readers during the crisis.

News - which reported a surge in readership and subscriptions in the past week - has told staff to prepare for "inevitable" job cuts.

Chief executive Michael Miller told staff that executives would take a "significant pay cut", and that they should brace for job losses and cutbacks including forced leave, part-time work and nine-day fortnights as advertising sales collapsed.

"I want to assure you that my priority is to preserve as many jobs across the company as possible, but it is now clear that some job losses will be inevitable," Miller told staff. "Together we need to move quickly to do everything we can to secure the health of our business and retain jobs."

With many staff working from home, Miller said changed work conditions were likely to stay in place at least until the end of May.

Changes to the content of its newspaper products are set to begin with the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier-Mail and The Advertiser today and flow on into regional titles, many of which have already announced smaller page formats.

The company decribes the changes as "the most significant newspaper content initiative in living memory" to meet demand for news and information on COVID-19.

A digital community noticeboard now provides a focus for information on what is open and closed, and the impact on schools, travel, businesses and shopping. The metro titles are also implementing significant changes to sports coverage.

Chairman of News editorial board Peter Blunden said the content changes reflected "the scale and impact that all Australians are feeling due to this unfolding crisis. Our readers are turning to us in record numbers for advice and we're adapting to meet this demand."

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