The world's richest woman Gina Rinehart stepped up her attack against "ailing" Australian media group Fairfax Wednesday as staff walked off the job over plans to send some sub-editing work offshore.
Rinehart, who is worth Aus$29.17 billion (US$28.48 billion) according to an annual index by Business Review Weekly, increased her holding in Fairfax to more than 13 percent this week, making her the firm's largest shareholder.
But the mining magnate was bypassed last week for a board seat and she has since been cranking up the pressure on chairman Roger Corbett and other management.
"The articulation of the strategy to revive the ailing Fairfax resides with the board and management of Fairfax," she said in an email to the Sydney Morning Herald, the company's flagship newspaper.
"The chairman needs to urgently address this in the interests of all shareholders, rather than merely hoping for improvements in circulation, revenue and share price or perhaps trying to blame... industry conditions."
Her initial move into the company earlier this year prompted the government to flag stronger media ownership laws amid concerns that Rinehart, who has been critical of the government, wanted to increase her influence.
Current law, designed to promote diversity of opinion and ownership, prevents anyone from acquiring more than 15 percent of Fairfax.
According to the Herald, fellow investors and other Fairfax supporters want Rinehart to publicly state her intentions amid concerns about whether she would represent the interests of all shareholders.
Fairfax, which has newspaper, radio and digital interests and is the main rival in Australia to Rupert Murdoch's News Limited, has been struggling with falling print advertising revenues.
Reports surfaced this week that it was considering dropping weekday print editions of the Herald and the Melbourne Age as it switches to a digital platform.
On Wednesday, Fairfax said it planned to move editorial production of several regional newspapers to New Zealand, with the loss of 66 jobs.
The move prompted staff at the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review, The Age, Sun-Herald, Sunday Age and the Newcastle Herald to call a snap 36-hour strike effective from Wednesday evening.
Ahead of the strike action, chief executive Greg Hywood said sending jobs offshore was part of the company's transition to a more digital-focused strategy.
"While the proposed changes would necessarily have a substantial impact on our people, we are determined to deliver on the transformation of our business," he said.