Ten Network will offer voluntary redundancies to staff as the cost-cutting drive under interim chief executive Lachlan Murdoch gathers pace.
Murdoch said in an email to staff on Sunday night (AEST) that the company’s television and outdoor advertising arms would undergo “a necessary but inevitably painful restructure”.
The market reacted positively to the news, with Ten rising 6.5 cents, or 5.9 per cent, to close at $ 1.165.
Reports suggested about 100 positions were to go in redundancies across all areas of the business, but a Ten spokeswoman was unable to confirm the number.
The spokeswoman said that Ten would report the cost of the voluntary redundancy program once it was known.
The process, which began on Monday, was expected to take several weeks.
“We should all be confident that this restructure allows us to invest on-air, to compete more vigorously than we have and will allow us ultimately to grow again as an organisation,” Murdoch said in the email.
Murdoch flagged a strong focus on costs and some “tough decisions” at Ten’s half-year results presentation in April, in a bid to increase ratings.
Ten said last month that it would not pursue the rights to Australian Football League (AFL) matches from 2012 onwards, ending 10 years of broadcasting the game. It described the move as a business decision.
There have also been changes to on-air content, with its One HD digital channel transformed from an all-sport offering to one which shows general programming designed to improve ratings in prime time.
Ten’s extra news programming between 6pm and 7pm has also been tweaked in a bid to lift viewers.
In his email to staff, Murdoch said that the need to compete vigorously in a new “hyper-competitive environment” meant adding costs to Ten’s previous low-cost model.
“But we must invest this cost as strategically and efficiently as possible,” Murdoch said.
“It is clear to me that over this time, we haven’t been investing our costs in all the right areas.”
He added that, due to a number of fixed costs related to news, Eleven and MasterChef Australia, costs were going to increase even more.