Pedestrian Group slashes jobs, CEO to resign in major restructure

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The mass exodus inside some of Australia’s largest media publishers has continued with Pedestrian Group, owned by Nine Entertainment, announcing a complete restructure, that will spell redundancies and the end of local publications for several international brands.
Image: Nine

As part of a broader cost-cutting initiative aimed at focusing on wholly owned brands, the licensing deals with prominent international brands such as Vice, Refinery29, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, and Kotaku will come an to end.

The restructuring is understood to result in redundancies for approximately half of Pedestrian Group’s 95-strong workforce.

Matt Rowley, CEO of Pedestrian Group, pointed to financial instability among licensing partners, a declining advertising market, and the growing dominance of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram as contributing factors to the job cuts.

“We’ve made the tough decision to focus on our wholly-owned Pedestrian brands where we control the strategy, the content, the product, the sales and the outcome – the entire business,” he said in a statement to staff on Monday.

“This will have an impact on roles within the group and I appreciate the uncertainty this change creates, so we will be in contact immediately with those people.”

He also announced his own departure from the company following the transition period.

“The process to appoint a new CEO is currently underway and will be announced to the team in due course.”

Matt Rowley, outgoing CEO of Pedestrian Group.

Nine Entertainment’s decision to cut jobs at Pedestrian Group is part of a larger trend of cost-cutting and restructuring across the Australian media landscape. The company had previously announced the elimination of 90 jobs from its publishing division, contributing to a total of 200 job cuts aimed at saving $30 million.

Nine’s CEO, Mike Sneesby, has also faced significant backlash from staff, leading to a no-confidence motion following the announcement of the job cuts. The dissatisfaction was only exacerbated by Sneesby’s absence during a recent trip to Greece.

The changes at Pedestrian Group comes just two weeks after Seven West Media also announced a series of sweeping job cuts, impacting newsrooms around the country. The Kerry Stokes-owned media giant attributed Meta’s decision not to renew its lucrative commercial deal as one of several key factors.

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