City News

Surry Hills the home of media

Rupert Murdoch

News Corp Australia has announced plans to consolidate its offices into a media precinct in Surry Hills.

The plan will see News Corp sell its offices in Macquarie St in Parramatta and relocate staff from Alexandria in a move designed to consolidate the Rupert Murdoch-owned company into the one Sydney suburb. In an email to staff in July, employees were told of the vast benefits of the new location.

“The precinct will consist of our existing Holt St office and the newly refurbished Newspoll House,” read the email.

“The media precinct location provides employees with easy access to public transport links and all of the amenities of Surry Hills, including restaurants, bars, cafes, parks and theatres.”

Employees in the Holt St and Newspoll House buildings are expected to have access to the enhanced facilities within the Holt St offices, including extensive meeting areas, gym, restaurant and roof terrace.

“The Holt St, Surry Hills building will be upgraded to provide workspaces which will offer increased opportunities for employee collaboration and innovation, as well as providing a new working environment which will better reflect our position as Australia’s No 1 media company,” read the email to News Corp staff.

The move has also been cited as a positive development by nearby businesses. Minuteman Press, an Alexandria-based printing company, said the influx of employees would be beneficial.

“The move is expected to bring with it an increased demand for the services provided by Sydney’s printing companies,” said a spokesperson for Minuteman.

The change comes at a time of uncertainty for News Corp after the abrupt resignation of its Australian CEO Kim Williams last week. Mr Williams will be replaced by Julian Clarke, who has been with the company for 30 years.

Tim Burrows, Editor-in-Chief of media and marketing magazine Encore, said the move came at a time of media uncertainty and cost cutting.

“It’s always a danger for a media company to consolidate in one location,” he said. “Where there are local papers that are locally sub-edited there is a higher quality product.

“When you outsource your sub editing there are errors which slip through. Media in the UK have gone through this process, and it’s a sad reality that newspapers cannot do their production locally even if it leads to higher quality product.”

A spokesperson for News Corp said the consolidation into Surry Hills was motivated by the need to adapt in an ever-changing media landscape.

The move into Surry Hills will commence this month and is due to be complete by the end of January 2014. News Corp had previously applied for and received planning approval for a $51.9 redevelopment of its offices in Parramatta last year, but has since shelved the plans for a ‘Cumberland Media Centre’ in Sydney’s west.

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