Fairfax cutting deep in Sydney and Melbourne

FAIRFAX has announced plans yesterday to cut a further 120 jobs, leading editorial staff in Sydney and Melbourne to go on strike until Monday.

The company said it would achieve the figure through redundancies and cost cutting at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review.

Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood said in a statement: "We are operating in an ever-changing highly competitive media environment which involves rapid evolution of our publishing model. The initiatives we have proposed today are part of that adaptation and are necessary to sustain high-quality journalism."

The ABC reported that staff at Fairfax papers in Brisbane and Canberra would strike for 24 hours in solidarity with their colleagues.

The chief executive of the media union, Paul Murphy, described the news as a "complete shock".

"This is a huge reduction, possibly as much as a quarter of the newsroom staff in Sydney and Melbourne. It's an absolutely devastating announcement," he told the ABC.