Rupert Murdoch controlled company, News Corp Australia announced on May 28 that it would axe mX newspapers. The free commuter publication will cease printing as Australia continues it’s migration of readership from print to online.
The news was delivered a mere two months after an alteration of the publications headquarters which saw staff redundancies and a complete makeover of the newspaper which has been distributed to commuters at trains stations for over a decade. This remodel also saw the company pour $200,000 into the development of a smartphone app and digital site. The company refused to comment on whether it would continue the mX app.
Staff were notified that the publication would cease on June 12, just two weeks after the announcement. “The decision is a reflection of the changing reading habits of commuters who now turn to their mobile phones and tablets on their way to and from work. News will continue to invest in our extensive suite of print and digital products, which are purchased and read by millions of Australians every day,” News Corp said in a statement.
The five journalists of mX’s Brisbane edition had no prior notice the cut would be made, first being informed about the decision on the same afternoon it was released to the public.
It has been established that around 30 full time journalistic positions across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne were affected by the decision. The distribution of the publication also relies on a network of staff located across transport terminals to hand out the paper to commuters. With redundancies said to be inevitable, News Corp will try to redeploy as many of these positions as possible.
Melbourne received the primary introduction of mX in 2001, with News Corp expanding to Sydney in 2005 and Brisbane in 2007.
Recent years have seen the circulations of all three editions cut by around 20 per cent. Figures discovered in the most recent audit that 34,313 copies were handed out on average of a weekday in Brisbane, in comparative to 42,831 in the 2012 audit, a 19.8 per cent decline.
Furthermore, 2015 audits have discovered that Sydney experienced a circulation decline of 99,059 in 2012 to 77,831, a 21 per cent decline. In Melbourne the decline dropped from 84,699 in 2012 to 69,148 this year, a decrease of 18.3 per cent.
News Corp CEO Julian Clarke’s email to staff:
“I wish to advise that we will cease publishing mX on Friday, June 12, 2015. We have informed mX employees of the decision earlier today.
It is always disappointing to see a publication close but after thorough view of mX’s commercial prospects it is clear this is the right decision.
MX has since its inception in Melbourne in 2001 served a young commuter audience well with its fresh and innovative style. Nevertheless that audience’s swift to mobile information and entertainment has made this decision inevitable. Obviously news.com.au and out masthead websites are well used by the commuter audience.”
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