License article

Ten to slash up to 100 jobs after posting $13m loss

TEN Network will cut up to 100 jobs after posting a $13 million loss for the year.

Ten has blamed difficult trading, the one-off impact of the Olympics and poor ratings for the result.

The result came a day after the network was rebuffed over plans to sell its Eye Corp outdoor advertising arm for about $145 million after private equity group Champ walked away from the deal. This sent the network's shares plunging to a record low and fuelled speculation Ten might have to top up its $200 million June capital raising.

The result also increases pressure on the network over advertising revenue, with Ten set to roll out its programs for 2013 next week, and negotiations with advertisers over rates to begin soon after.

Industry figures showed Ten had just 25.5 per cent of the capital-city television advertising market in the six months to June 30, well behind Seven's 40 per cent and Nine's 34.5 per cent.

Chief executive James Warburton said Eye Corp was still classified as ''held for sale'' but it was not ''for sale at any price''.


Mr Warburton said it was too early to give a definite number on the jobs to go in the program of voluntary redundancies, with staff at Ten briefed yesterday on the news.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance said it was disappointed by the cuts, which it predicted would be equivalent to about a third of the national newsroom.

The MEAA said there would be fewer local stories produced, as well as a loss of local perspectives on big national stories.

Mr Warburton said the network's annual results were ''disappointing'' and the ratings had ''not been good enough''. High-profile ratings flops for the network this year included The Shire and Everybody Dance Now.

Ten declared a net loss of $12.9 million in the year to August 31 because of a 46 per cent decline in earnings from its television business. Last year Ten delivered a $14 million profit.

The after-tax loss is due to a 14 per cent decline in revenue from ordinary activities, while television earnings before interest, tax and amortisation fell 46.5 per cent, from $154.1 million to $82.4 million.

Mr Warburton said Ten's net loss was affected by $23.7 million of non-recurring costs which include a write-down of the investment in website OurDeal and redundancy costs for the TV part of the business.

He said Ten was continuing with its operational and strategic review that started last year and was ''relentless in examining its cost base''. The network reduced TV costs by 6.6 per cent, or $42 million.

Mr Warburton said there had been some bright spots in the results, including the success of digital channels Eleven and One.