News broadcaster NBN has made about 15 Newcastle staff redundant, including two key leadership positions which had a combined 60 years experience, as part of its move to a new studio and office in Honeysuckle.
The Nine Network affiliate let go head of news Blake Doyle and chief of staff Andy Lobb about six weeks ago. The two men were shown the door with little warning.
Doyle had spent more than 20 years with NBN, while Lobb was nearing four decades at the station.
Nine would not comment on their redundancies but said the majority of the impacted roles were related to NBN's move from The Hill to Honeysuckle. NBN News will start recording from the new site in coming weeks.
About 20 positions have been impacted by the move in total, Nine said, but five staff have been redeployed.
The new automated studio will be run centrally from Sydney and not as many studio roles are required.
"Our upcoming move to a new headquarters for NBN in Newcastle has led to an upgrade in technology for our broadcast operations," a Nine spokesperson said.
"These new systems require fewer people to operate [and] broadcast and this has impacted some positions within the NBN business. Where possible we have worked to redeploy people."
Former Perth-based Nine reporter and producer Darius Winterfield has been appointed Director of Regional News/NBN News.
"Darius, originally from Sydney, has a wide and varied experience in newsrooms; starting with Sky News, through to the Today Show and most recently at Nine News Perth," NBN general manager Jenny Webber said in an email to staff.
"His coverage of the 2021 Kalbarra Cyclone was this month entered into the MEAA WA Media Awards.
"As our NBN team begin the move to our amazing new premises ... on Newcastle's Harbour, this next chapter will see closer alignment with the Nine Network than ever before; creating more opportunity for our talented team of reporters, journalists and camera operators."
Nine is also looking to appoint a chief of staff at NBN.
These new systems require fewer people to broadcast and this has impacted some positions within the NBN business. Where possible we have worked to redeploy people.Nine spokesperson
Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe below. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.
Do you know you can subscribe to get full access to all Maitland Mercury stories? Subscribing supports us in our local news coverage. To subscribe, click here.