ITV To Cut 600 Jobs After Losing Billions
Broadcaster ITV is to cut about 600 jobs after reporting a £2.73bn pre-tax loss for the year.
The company’s figures were hit by enormous writedowns on the value of its assets – without which the broadcaster would have turned in a £167m profit for 2008.
ITV told Sky News the writedowns mainly constitute a reduction in the value of broadcasting assets – namely ITV1, 2, 3 and 4.
The broadcaster believes the channels are worth considerably less than to a year ago because of the collapse in the advertising market.
The company also announced the sale of social networking site Friends Reunited, and said it would make other «significant» savings.
The job losses affect every department and account for around 15% of ITV’s 4,500-strong workforce.
Some 150 people will lose their jobs in Leeds, with most of the remaining job cuts in London.
The group hopes to make savings of £155m this year, rising to £175m in 2010 and £245m in 2011.
Costs will be cut through efficiencies on network programmes and regional news, the company said.
ITV’s executive chairman Michael Grade said the cuts were due to the «short-term horrors» of the cyclical downturn, which had seen advertising deteriorate significantly from the end of last year.
«The tough actions we are taking have to be seen against that backdrop,» he added.
«These are unprecedented and extremely difficult times.»