On the same day that it announced a new NBA broadcast contract worth nearly $11 billion over nine years, Turner Broadcasting said it will cut about 10 percent of its global workforce, about 1,475 jobs.
The move comes after the Time Warner Inc.-owned cable programming conglomerate offered buyouts in August to around 500 senior-level employees. The layoffs are all part of the earlier-announced "Turner 2020" restructuring and coincide with a shareholders meeting being conducted by Time Warner next week.
"The position eliminations, which will total approximately 1,475 roles, will come at all levels from across the company's news, entertainment, kids, young adult and sports networks and businesses, as well as corporate functions, in 18 Turner locations around the world," reads an internal Turner memo, obtained by Deadline Hollywood. "Employees whose positions are directly impacted will be advised over the next two weeks and will be offered severance pay for transition."
Around 300 of the job cuts will come from CNN's 3,500-person global workforce. Another 975 jobs will be trimmed from the ranks of Turner's Atlanta headquarters, where 6,500 of the media company's 14,000 employees work.
Like all ad-supported networks, Turner is facing a challenging TV advertising market, with a long-term threat from digital platforms no longer just looming. Meanwhile, pending mergers by top-level pay-TV operators could soon take a toll on affiliate licensing growth.
For its part, Turner faces specific audience development problems, with former powerhouse CNN struggling badly in prime time ratings, and entertainment networks TNT and TBS no longer enjoying steep ratings growth trajectories.
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