65 jobs under threat at Sanoma media group

Summary

Dozens of staff, many of them editorial, are to be cut at media group Sanoma’s Belgian branch, with increased co-operation with the Netherlands and increased reliance on freelance staff planned

‘Collective dismissal’

Sanoma Media België, the Belgian branch of the Finnish media group, wants to carry out a “collective dismissal” with an impact on 65 jobs in all staff categories. The company, based in Mechelen, made the announcement yesterday after a special meeting. Its Belgian branch currently employs about 300 people.

Sanoma sold many of its concerns last year. The magazines Humo, Story, Teve-blad and Vitaya were sold to De Persgroep, publisher of De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws. Its participation in De Vijver Media was sold to telecom company Telenet. In Belgium, Sanoma wants to focus on media products covering women’s interests, and homes and decoration.

It’s also aiming to increase the integration of the Belgian branch in its Dutch branch, Sanoma Nederland, to create a “flexible organisation in Belgium that’s more customised to a quickly changing market environment, and better co-operation between the two branches”, it said. By working more closely together, the branches should have a larger impact on both the advertisement and consumer market.

According to Tijs Hostyn of Christian union ACV, 27 of the threatened jobs are editorial roles; he believes Sanoma wants to work more with freelancers. The union is looking into all possibilities to protect the jobs.

Photo courtesy Interalu nv