'Tough ad market' hits programmers: Scripps offers buyouts as cuts begin at CNN

Citing what company CEO Ken Lowe calls a tough ad market, declining ratings and increased competition among cable programmers, Scripps Networks has begun offering buyouts to an unspecified number of employees.

The buyout offer was reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel, which obtained a memo Lowe sent to staff. (Hat tip to Broadcasting & Cable for digging out the local coverage.)

As a result of all the market challenges, he wrote, "even companies out-performing their peers as we are have to change to reflect the evolving landscape. "

Lowe added that the cuts will probably go beyond voluntary buyouts. "Each department will address its specific budget targets as they see fit," said. "However, it is likely that this effort to bring costs in line with revenue will include the elimination of activities, projects and positions. We plan to announce any project and/or job eliminations resulting from this budget process by the end of the year."

Word of Scripps staff cuts come as a steep round of trims announced earlier by Turner Networks begins to take hold. On Tuesday, it was reported that 300 CNN workers had lost their jobs, including the New York staff of venerable news anchor Christiane Amanpour. Amanpour will continue producing a daily show out of London. The cuts represent 8 percent of CNN's workforce.

Overall, Turner is set to lose about 1,475 employees.

For more:
- read this Broadcasting & Cable story
- read this Mashable story
- read this Huffington Post story

Related links:
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