News Limited accelerates tech revamp

As part of News Limited's restructure to arm itself for the digital age, it will fast track the roll-out of its new publishing platform Methode.

As part of News Limited's restructure to arm itself for the digital age, it will fast track the roll-out of its new publishing platform Methode.

The company announced in April that it would be spending $60 million on the Methode publishing platform, which is used by The Wall Street Journal, in order to achieve a "create once, publish many" environment.

News Limited has stepped on the gas for the roll-out of that system, which was to take three years, but will now only need 13 months, according to News Limited Australia chief executive Kim Williams.

"The investment in Methode plays a foundation stone role in engaging our customers. It will allow us to create once and publish many times across every platform our customers use — print, online, tablet, mobile, smart devices and broadcast," he said.

The company will also invest in a new intranet in order to improve inter-company communication and awareness, according to Williams.

In order to make sure that digital product development stays on track, the company will integrate its digital arm News Digital Media into its operations, and create a new Product Innovation team.

"Digital technology and the ever-increasing array of consumer devices and connectivity points represent an important core to the future of our company. To realise the huge opportunities presented, we must ensure we have world-class resources supporting our editorial and sales teams," he said.

The company intends to adopt a national approach to operations, and cut jobs as part of the restructure, but did not specify how many job cuts will be made. It has also purchased an online publisher, and made a $1.97 billion bid for James Packer's Consolidated Media.

The deal, if approved by regulators, will allow News Limited to dominate Australia's pay-TV industry, as it would take full control of Fox Sports, and lift its stake in pay-TV operator Foxtel from 25 to 50 per cent, making it a joint owner with Telstra.

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