Channel 4 braces itself for more than 200 job cuts

Channel 4 braces itself for more than 200 job cuts
Channel 4PA Media

Channel 4 is expected to announce plans to cut more than 200 jobs after a decline in demand for advertising.

That equates to 15% of the roughly 1,300 staff currently employed.

In November, the publicly owned British broadcaster’s chief executive said the TV industry was reeling from the worst advertising downturn since 2008.

A spokesperson said “whilst organisational change is never without personal impact, it is a necessary response to allow us to stand out”.

While the restructuring is yet to be announced, the wave of cuts are likely to put pressure on London-based staff after the broadcaster committed to increasing employee numbers outside the capital to 600 by 2025.

The company, which launched in 1982, has already cut its £713m programming budget and shows including SAS: Who Dares Wins, The Big Narstie Show and Steph’s Packed Lunch have been axed.

SAS: Who Dares Wins

Channel 4

Alex Mahon, Chanel 4’s chief executive, told the House of Commons culture committee in November that the TV advertising market was is “shock territory”, and, as a result, expected the company to make losses in each of the next two years. It may also have to use some of its emergency £75m credit facility next year.

“We all expected a hard year but we have not seen the predicted recovery in the second half or the fourth quarter,” she said.

“As a result our performance will be affected this year and we will have a deficit this year. I imagine for next year we will look at how to use that debt facility.”

After plans to privatise Channel 4 were dropped by the government last year, the broadcaster has been exploring ways to transition into digital broadcasting in order to compete with online streaming services.

A spokesperson said in a statement that they had to “continue to divest from our linear channels business and simplify our operations to become a leaner organisation”.

It added that it was dealing “with an extremely uncertain economy in the short term and the need to accelerate our transformation to become a genuinely digital public service broadcaster in the long term”.

Source: bbc.co.uk

By David Ryckman