Struggling Ten Network flags job cuts
Ten Network will cut staff as part of a wide-ranging review aimed at getting its costs down.
News of the redundancies came as the network, which has been struggling in the ratings this year, revealed a $13 million loss for the year ending August 31.
Ten’s chief executive, James Warburton, said the program of voluntary redundancies had been announced today and it was too soon to say how many jobs would be cut.
‘‘What we’ve done is we’ve completed the model. The voluntary redundancies are what’s being announced today but it’s way too early to say what those numbers are.’’
BusinessDay understands up to 100 staff would be affected nationally. The company had about 1300 staff in 2011. An email is said to be sent out to staff shortly.
Mr Warburton said the network’s annual results were ‘‘disappointing’’ and the ratings had ‘‘not been good enough’’. Ratings flops for the network this year included The Shire and Everybody Dance Now.
'National news desk'
Ten has denied that it is moving to a national news bulletin, but has conceded that it is implementing a ‘‘national news desk’’, to be based in Sydney, in a bid to ‘‘centralise and streamline the process’’ of making its news bulletins around the country.
A spokeswoman said suggestions that the network would axe local news bulletins were wrong and due to ‘‘confusion’’.
Ten will retain local hosts and continue to cover local news, she said, while declining to specify what form those local bulletins would take and how much of their content might derive from the new ‘‘national’’ desk in Sydney.
Staffers seeking solace in that suggestion of flexibility will find little comfort in the line that today’s announcement represents ‘‘the first outcome’’ of the strategic review that has been taking place across all parts of the company.
That could suggest there is worse to come, but Ten is playing its cards close to its corporate chest. The spokeswoman said the redundancy program came with ‘‘no number and no timeline’’.
The network has struggled with slumping ratings in 2012, while the free-to-air television industry contends with a faltering ad market and the change in entertainment and broadcasting trends, triggered by mobile devices.
Union blasts Ten
The Community and Public Sector Union criticised the announcement by Channel Ten, but said it could hardly be a surprise given the difficulties at the network.
“I find it hard to believe that Network Ten management did not see this coming," said CPSU National President Michael Tull.
"We’ve all be watching the ratings and the company’s financial performance and yet the first we have heard about these cuts was when they dropped this bombshell on our members who are obviously distraught at the news.
“There has been no consultation to date and all we have from Ten management is a guarantee of a meeting next week," he said. "We are angry that Ten has failed to meet its obligations.”
with Karl Quinn