Tiso Blackstar Group will be cutting jobs amid financial troubles, according to an internal email from managing director Andrew Gill, which Fin24 has seen.
The email says that the company has proposed "broad restructuring of its editorial operations as a result of economic headwinds".
In addition, the email blames "poor performance" in the six months leading to December for a state that worsened in the first quarter of 2019. Tiso Blackstar is home to award-winning publications such as the Sunday Times, Business Day and Financial Mail.
"We are aware that the current situation is difficult, especially for those affected by restructuring, but it is important to consider the alternative future, if we don’t act now – one in which further title closures will become inevitable," the email said.
Approached to confirm the authenticity of the email, Tiso Blackstar Group’s managing director Andy Gill declined to comment on the specifics of the email, but confirmed the group was restructuring.
He noted the proposed closure of one title as well as Section 189 processes affecting staff employed by at least three other titles.
"We cannot publicly comment on our internal communication or correspondence to our employees," Gill told Fin24. "The company engages directly with its employees or their representatives regarding any labour-related and other issues affecting them."
However, Gill said Tiso Blackstar announced a planned restructuring of its daily news operations two weeks ago, as a result of weak economic conditions.
"We issued Section 189 notices to editorial employees of the Sowetan, Dispatch and Herald, as well as production staff in the Business media stream.
"Today we announced the proposed closure of the Sunday World as a result of increasing losses at the title," said Gill.