I am told by said insiders that the announcement was brought forward by two days when someone accidentally posted details of it on the Fairfax Intranet. And it seems the way it was communicated has been sub-optimal.
But despite that, it does seem to be a quite different kettle of fish to what APN have done, which is outsource almost all sub-editing to Pagemakers – a very controversial move.
From what I can tell Fairfax is saying that subs will remain with each paper for local and sports news, but that centralised hubs in Christchurch and Wellington would sub-edit financial and world news plus features across all Fairfax papers.
Putting aside the obvious commercial imperative, and the impact it has on current staff (restructuring is never pleasant) I am not sure it isn’t a bad idea. Financial and world news doesn’t tend to be local and building up centres of excellence in those specialised areas makes some sense to me, while keeping local subs for local news.