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Times Media Group Said Cut About 15 Percent of BDFM Staff

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Times Media Group Ltd. will cut as many as 25 positions at a unit that publishes South Africa’s Business Day newspaper and Financial Mail magazine, according to two people with knowledge of an internal company announcement.

BDFM Publishers Ltd. has accepted 11 voluntary severances and will cut a further up to 14 jobs as early as next week, said the people, who asked not to be named as the announcement hasn’t been made public. A copy of the internal announcement confirmed the numbers.

Editor-in-chief Peter Bruce is cutting staff as he seeks to reduce the unit’s costs by about 15 million rand ($1.54 million) a year, he said in an Oct. 14 interview. The unit has about 150 staff, according to Bruce. He didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone today.

The company has been selling assets and is focusing on its Internet news site and television business while seeking growth opportunities in west and southern Africa. The Johannesburg-based publisher bought the 50 percent of BDFM it didn’t already own from Financial Times-owner Pearson Plc in April.

“We will be a website with a newspaper, even though the newspaper may attract more revenue,” Bruce said in the internal announcement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Spillane in Johannesburg at cspillane3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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