Television war: Seven is reported to be worried about a revival at its rival Nine. Photo: Viki Lascaris
Seven Network has announced redundancies across its news and public affairs team, amid rumours that it is panicking about a revival at rival Nine.
Departure numbers are unclear, although are expected to reach double digits.
It's believed there are no savings figures sought through the redundancies, and the network is seeking to redeploy staff as it bulks up in the traditional Seven strongholds of Adelaide and Perth.
Channel Seven is cutting staff numbers as part of a rationalisation of its news operations. Photo: Viki Lascaris
Seven says it has between 480 and 500 people in its news and public affairs department. Seven today also advertised new positions across the capital cities.
Rob Raschke, network director of news at Seven Network, told Fairfax Media the changes were about "delivering better news services for our audience" and "being number one in news."
Nine Network in January quietly extended its 6pm news bulletin to one hour and shifted A Current Affair to 7pm, to compete against Seven's popular soap Home And Away.
Seven then ditched its 6.30pm current affairs program Today Tonight on the east coast in favour of a one-hour news bulletin.
Mr Raschke said Seven had been in a "pitched battle with Nine" for years, although Nine's performance had improved of late.
While Seven is still the number one network nationally, its news bulletins in Sydney and Melbourne have lost ground to Nine's.
Ratings for Monday's Seven News bulletin - the number two show for the day - had 299,000 viewers in Sydney, compared with 504,000 Sydney viewers for the Nine bulletin.
For Sunday, Seven News was the second-most watched show with 1.29 million, compared with Nine News Sunday on 1.147 million.
One source told Fairfax Media the cuts were about ditching former Today Tonight staff who had stayed on after the program was ditched.
Another said Channel Seven was today dumping staff mainly outside of NSW where it is centralising its investigations team.
An email from Mr Raschke said consultation with staff would continue this week and changes would be completed by June 30, including the appointment of new roles.
Seven is the second network to announce job cuts in as many months, with Ten in May announcing it was cutting 150 staff across its news division, cancelling three news bulletins and its new breakfast program Wake Up.