Channel Nine massacre as TV bosses take the ax for hundreds of jobs

Hundreds of jobs will be cut at Nine Entertainment, including positions in its high-profile TV news division.

Nine Entertainment CEO Mike Sneesby announced the job cuts Friday morning as part of a $30 million cost-cutting plan for the company.

“Of our national team of almost 5,000 people, approximately 200 jobs in the Nine are expected to be affected, including a number of vacant and temporary roles that will not be filled,” Mr Sneesby said.

‘To ensure we can continue to invest in digital growth opportunities across the Nine, we must continue to manage costs responsibly throughout the cycle.’

The redundancies affect 38 positions at the leading news and current affairs programme, which also includes 9News and 60 Minutes.

In addition, 90 jobs will be eliminated from Nine’s publishing division, impacting positions at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.

Today Show host Karl Stefanovic is pictured. Nine has revealed that 38 jobs will be cut from its news and current affairs team. Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Mr Stefanovic's role will be reduced

Today Show host Karl Stefanovic is pictured. Nine has revealed that 38 jobs will be cut from its news and current affairs team. Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Mr Stefanovic’s role will be reduced

Mr Sneesby blamed the layoffs on the likely termination of a commercial deal with Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, to pay for news articles the company publishes, and on a weakened advertising market.

“These are difficult decisions and I recognise that this will be an uncertain time for some of you. It is important to reiterate that Nine remains in a strong position,” Mr Sneesby explained.

“All of our business units are either fully digital or have fast-growing digital revenues – and they all maintain leading positions in their respective markets.”

The announcements follow the departure of news chief Darren Wick in March after a female staffer filed a complaint of inappropriate behaviour.

His replacement Fiona Dear told staff on Friday that the job cuts will result in a ‘loss of 38 positions across the division, 12 of which are already vacant.’

Nine has announced 200 job losses as it cuts $30 million from its operating costs

Nine has announced 200 job losses as it looks to shave $30 million from its operating costs

Nine News boss Darren Wick In March left the network in March after a female employee complained of inappropriate behaviour.

Nine news boss Darren Wick left the network in March following a complaint from a female staffer regarding inappropriate behavior.

“We also want to identify potential savings through temporary and freelance roles and through new technology,” Ms Dear said.

Nine publishing chief executive Tory Maguire, who runs The Australian Financial Review, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane Times and WAtoday, said the end of the Meta deal had also damaged the publishing side of the business.

“This week … the Meta deal ended and the significant revenue from that deal has stopped,” she said.

“While we are encouraged by our constructive discussions with the federal government regarding code enforcement, the only thing that is certain at this time is that we do not have an ongoing agreement with Meta.

‘The advertising market remains very challenging and while the publishing and sales teams are working together on a range of new initiatives, our FY25 forecast reflects the market outlook.’

Around 150 Seven West Media employees have been made redundant in a major round of layoffs, with three senior managers all leaving the company (pictured is Seven West Media CEO Jeff Howard)

About 150 Seven West Media employees have been let go in a major round of layoffs, with three senior executives all leaving the company (pictured Jeff Howard, CEO of Seven West Media).

Nine’s cuts announcement came in the same week that around 150 staff were let go by Seven West Media in a major round of redundancies, with three senior managers all leaving the company.

CEO Jeff Howard told staff in an email Tuesday that costs needed to be reduced, especially after Meta’s withdrawal.

“A number of roles within the company will change and unfortunately some people will leave us,” Mr Howard said.

“We will do everything we can to minimise the impact on people as much as possible and we will ensure that our people are fully supported.”

Changes at SWM include the departures of Chief Revenue Officer Kurt Burnette, Chief Marketing and Audience Officer Melissa Hopkins and Seven’s Head of Sport and Melbourne Managing Director Lewis Martin.

The trio have been committed to SWM for 65 years, and Howard says the workplace will be “completely different without them.”

“I wish them all the very best for the future and look forward to our paths crossing again, hopefully at a time when the challenges facing the sector are less severe,” he said.

Mr. Burnette had been with the company for 34 years, while Mr. Lewis had been with SWM for 30 years.

Ms Hopkins joined the company in March last year. She previously worked at Optus.

The job cuts are part of efforts to save the company $100 million.

Mr Howard told staff that while SWM was achieving good results in print, digital and TV, “our high cost base of $1.2 billion a year is not sustainable and must be reduced”.

“As we look ahead to fiscal year 2025, we face continued upward pressure on this cost base,” he said.

SWM, owner of The West Australian newspaper, will continue with three divisions: digital, TV and Western Australia.

A chief operating officer will also be appointed at the company, which is controlled by billionaire Kerry Stokes.

Mr. Howard took on the role of CEO at the end of April.

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