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Television NZ flags job cuts

NZN 23/03/2017 Jonathan Underhill

Television New Zealand has announced plans to streamline its businesses and cut jobs to stem a decline in earnings in the face of falling advertising revenue.

Chief executive Kevin Kenrick said the changes were aimed at creating "a sustainable future video content business for TVNZ in an ever-changing media market".

Structural changes in the state-owned broadcaster's media operations and news teams would include cuts to existing jobs and some new positions created but "with an overall reduction in roles"' he said.

The restructuring follows the release of TVNZ's first-half results last month, which included a 6.2 per cent drop in earnings to $26.7 million as advertising revenue fell faster than operating costs.

At the time, Mr Kendrick said TVNZ's 5 per cent drop in advertising revenue was a better performance than the broader TV market, which saw an 8.4 per cent decline in ad sales.

The company planned to eliminate "a number of the duplicated processes, systems and roles in our news bureaus" while simplifying its media operations.

The new structure for media and news will be confirmed by mid-April, it said.

"What we're doing is making sure every dollar we spend is focused on telling the local stories valued by our viewers while reducing costs in other areas of the business," Mr Kenrick said in the statement.

The rise of Google and increasing dominance of social media platforms such as Facebook has slashed local media companies' share of advertising spending.

Publishers Fairfax Media and NZME have been left as bit players in New Zealand's digital advertising market as a result, according to their submissions to the Commerce Commission on their proposed merger.

TVNZ's rival Sky Network Television had its own merger proposal, with Vodafone New Zealand, knocked back by the Commerce Commission last month.

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