Layoffs in line as Turner 'futureproofs' broadcasting platform

Turner Broadcasting is preparing for its 50th anniversary in 2020 with a "futureproof" plan that it's calling Turner 2020 and that will almost inevitably result in layoffs, according to an e-mail blast from CEO John Martin.

The plan, which expects to bolster some flagging networks such as TNT and CNN, will be "transformative in some areas of our company," Martin wrote in the e-mail, which was reported in Capital New York. "This may mean staff changes. In fact, I'll be surprised if it doesn't."

Starting immediately, Turner is tightening things up across its entire business, assessing every part of the company "to ensure it's optimized against our strategic priorities," he wrote.

Essentially, Turner management is doing whatever it takes to make certain the company hits 50 with full momentum.

"I want to see Turner vibrant and market-leading in programming, branding, innovation and profitability in 2020," he wrote. "We need to work hard now to ensure that we reach that goal."

At the same time Martin is looking out six years, he also is acknowledging that today's "TV landscape is changing in ways that mean we will need to invest even more … in compelling original programming; in differentiating our network and programming brands in an increasingly on-demand world; in finding new and innovative ways to connect with consumers; in building scale to reach broader international audiences; and in taking advantage of technology to deliver more value for consumers and advertisers, not only through TV Everywhere but also through selective and strategic investments outside the traditional TV environment."

As he looked to the future, Martin tapped the past, noting that "Turner has long been a company that has embraced--indeed, led--change in the TV industry, from pioneering the basic cable industry to launching the first 24-hour news network, spearheading TV Everywhere and creating innovative multi-platform advertising solutions."

For more:
- Capital New York has this story

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