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  1. Media Business
February 10, 2023

News Corp’s UK business to ‘limit recruitment’ as company seeks to cut global workforce by 5%

News UK owns The Sun, Times, Sunday Times and TalkTV.

By William Turvill

News Corp’s UK arm has indicated it will “limit recruitment” of new employees as Rupert Murdoch’s international media group seeks to cut 5% of its workforce.

Robert Thomson, the chief executive of News Corp, announced on Thursday that he expected a “5% headcount reduction, or around 1,250 positions,” this year as he spoke of how rising interest rates and inflation had hurt the business.

In an earnings call with investors, he confirmed that the 5% reduction would be “across all businesses, and it will be conducted in [the] coming months with a view to concluding this calendar year”.

Staff at News UK, News Corp’s British arm that owns The Sun, Times, Sunday Times, TalkTV and other brands, have heard nothing from the company on Friday.

A spokesperson for News UK told Press Gazette: “At News UK, we continue to invest in our strategic priorities and have already starting taking measures to address our costbase and to limit recruitment.”

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While some jobs may be lost this year, News UK is understood to be hopeful that it can produce savings by using headcount freezes and reassessing whether certain vacancies need to be filled.

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Last week Press Gazette revealed that News UK had proposed a merger between The Times Scotland and Sunday Times Scotland, with a consultation on potential job losses underway.

In his earnings call on Thursday, Thomson singled out The Sun for praise, noting that it had recorded strong digital advertising revenue growth, in part thanks to its US expansion.

News UK’s revenues fell by 10% during the last three months of 2022, but this was due to the fall in the value of the pound. On a constant currency basis, News UK revenues were up 3%.

News Corp revealed in its earnings that The Times, Sunday Times and Times Literary Supplement had 489,000 digital subscribers at the end of 2022, up from 399,000 at the end of 2021.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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