Turner Broadcasting To Cut 10% Of Workforce

Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting System is making some big cutbacks with its staff, following restructuring remarks made in early June by TBS’ Chief Executive Officer John Martin.

About 10% of its worldwide workforce -- around 1,475 positions out of 14,000 full-time jobs -- will be eliminated. This will come across a wide range of the company's news, entertainment, kids, young adult and sports networks and businesses, and will include Turner corporate posts -- some 18 locations around the world.

In a statement, the company says: “The position eliminations are one component of a comprehensive initiative and company reorganization to focus resources and prioritize investment in programming, monetization and innovation as near- and long-term drivers of growth.”



The cutbacks will occur in a number of areas -- voluntary separation program, involuntary separations, elimination of unfilled headcount and the addition of approximately 150 new positions in areas of investment and growth.

Recently, Time Warner eluded a hostile takeover from 21st Century Fox. Turner entertainment networks have seen little ratings growth and/or declines recently. In the third quarter, CNN total day viewership averaged 449,000 total viewers and 135,000 25-54, second place to Fox News.

In a follow-up August memo to staffers, Martin said: “Resetting our business operations through the balance of 2014 will position us to move forward aggressively in the new year. We'll start 2015 a more streamlined, nimble and efficient company focused on driving programming, monetization and innovation, in a culture that emphasizes and rewards continuous improvement.”

2 comments about "Turner Broadcasting To Cut 10% Of Workforce".
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  1. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, October 6, 2014 at 9:33 p.m.

    Such a sad day and such sad news for the good people of the Turner Broadcasting System that have been and will be hurt. Although this is not meant to be a lesson in piscine biology, the proverb holds at Turner and Time Warner, as at other places where leadership has failed miserably: "The fish stinks from the head down." For example, CNN & HLN have sold the American TV Audience a bill of bogus goods when it comes to defining what is newsworthy and what is not. As long as CNN & HLN transform news, other than "Breaking News," into vapid, navel gazing, then viewers will believe, that when it comes to news, reality is either nightmarish scenarios or nothing of interest at all. Every real event in this world has moment and meaning, if we treat the "who, what, when, where, why, and how" of TV journalism with thoughtfulness and respect. CNN & HLN seek to manipulate the public instead of serve the public. The Turner Broadcasting System should be consistently delivering TV programming that is in the "public interest, convenience and necessity." But Turner is not! In 1961, FCC Chairman Newton Minnow advocated for TV in the public interest by observing the "vast wasteland" it had become, even by then. [I shall provide the exact words of Newton Minnow in my next comment – without comment.] The principles Minow cited are timeless, even if some of the particulars sound dated. Whether the year is 1961 or 2014, the public interest should not be defined by Jeff Zucker, John Martin or Jeffrey Bewkes. The public interest should be defined by the impressively wise men, women and children who move among us. Just imagine what Turner could do in compensation for its rank and file employees with the money it spends on Anthony Bourdain, Lisa Ling, Mike Rowe, Nancy Grace, Dr. Drew (On Call, no less), and Jesse Ventura - not to mention the swollen paychecks of Zucker, Martin and Bewkes. For shame. What should be cut won't be cut because the game is rigged. It's rather unfortunate that a company called Turner is nothing like Ted. It's rather unfortunate that the Time in Time Warner lacks the news sensibilities of Briton Hadden and Henry Luce or the theatrical sensibilities of Sam, Jack, Harry, and Albert Warner. Now, stay tuned for an old lesson that's always "new" -- and "news" to all the senior management mavens at Time Warner who should know better ...

  2. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, October 6, 2014 at 9:33 p.m.

    Newton N. Minow, FCC Chairman, advocating before the NAB in 1961 for programming in the public interest:
    "When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland. You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it." ...
    "Television and all who participate in it are jointly accountable to the American public for respect for the special needs of children, for community responsibility, for the advancement of education and culture, for the acceptability of the program materials chosen, for decency and decorum in production, and for propriety in advertising. This responsibility cannot be discharged by any given group of programs, but can be discharged only through the highest standards of respect for the American home, applied to every moment of every program presented by television.Program materials should enlarge the horizons of the viewer, provide him with wholesome entertainment, afford helpful stimulation, and remind him of the responsibilities which the citizen has toward his society."
    Newton N. Minow, "Television and the Public Interest", address to the National Association of Broadcasters, Washington, D.C., May 9, 1961.

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