Newsroom co-editor Mark Jennings says NZME and Fairfax will be in a "fight to the death", now the Commerce Commission has turned down their merger application.
"Both sides will chop out costs, I think we will see lots of journalists go," he said.
But the former head of news at TV3 doesn't believe the Commerce Commission could have made any other decision.
"Weekend newspapers will probably survive, but it's very hard for week day editions," he told 1 NEWS.
Announcing the decision today, Dr Mark Berry of the Commission said the competition in the media environment would be lessened and the benefit to the public was not high enough to proceed.
"We accept there is a real chance the merger could extend the lifespan of some newspapers and lead to significant cost savings anywhere between $40 million to around $200 million over five years," he said in a release.
TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick says he was unsurprised by the Commerce Commission decision.
He said it was a difficult and very significant decision which will leave some questioning whether it was right, and will leave media companies looking at alternative ways to stay buoyant.
"The Commerce Commission is in a really tough position, they've got to form a view on the industry, they've got to forecast what the future of that industry is, they've got to make their decision," Mr Kenrick said.