Nine lifts cost savings target in Fairfax merger to $65 million

“A further circa $30 million [for a total of about $65 million] has now been identified, $50 million of which [on an annualised basis] will be realised by June 2019, less than one year after the merger announcement, with the remainder by June 2020.

“The rationalisation of technology costs is still largely to be addressed.”

Nine said the cost savings will be “above and beyond” normal revenue and cost management.

Following the completion of the merger on Friday afternoon, Nine chief executive Hugh Marks emailed all staff of the newly combined group talking up the prospects of the new business.

“Nine’s mission – to create great content, distribute it broadly and to engage both audiences and advertisers – will not change. But the breadth of our opportunity to do so will increase significantly through the addition of the mastheads, their substantial print and digital footprints, and the ability to work co-operatively with both Domain and Macquarie Media,” he said.

“Great content means any number of things at Nine: it can be a TV show like The Block which draws millions of viewers every night and captures water cooler discussion, or it can be ground-breaking journalism such as Adele Ferguson’s reporting of banking malpractice that drives community discussion on both a national and local level and forces the sector to reform.

“It can be great entertainment content like Young Sheldon or Billions, which is delivered to the device of the audience’s choosing on platforms like Channel 9, 9Now and Stan or can be a radio programs such as Neil Mitchell’s on 3AW, which sets the agenda and drives debate across an entire city like Melbourne.”