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Channel Ten A Mess, 150 Axed As Viewers Shun Network Content

Channel Ten A Mess, 150 Axed As Viewers Shun Network Content

At 1.30pm the stations web site had crashed with visitors left with no content and an error message.(See below). 

Ironically, today we did not get as press release announcing the cuts, in the past we average three to four press releases a week from Network Ten Communications Director Neil Shoebridge spruiking how great the network is, Shoebridge has also taken to not returning calls.

Despite having excellent programs such as Blue Blood a story about a New York Police Commissioner and shows like NCIS and Master Chef the network has been unable to attract viewers with some major shows which actually rate in overseas markets turning into flops on the Ten Network. 

Ten CEO Hamish McLennan wrote in an email to staff this morning:

A review has been conducted to establish a new structure for Ten and to better allocate our resources, with the aim of improving our performance.

As a result of that review, there are proposed changes to News programs, the structure of News and Operations, and other departments.

Unfortunately, it is proposed that Wake Up and the Early, Morning and Late News will cease production on Friday, May 23, 2014.

He also confirmed that morning program Studio 10 would stay writing: “Studio 10 is performing well and will continue as a vital part of our daytime schedule, which ranks number one.”

MUmBRELLA said that they understand that a staff meeting was held at 12.30pm today where staff were told of the decision which was made at a Ten board meeting this morning.

Shoebridge’s lack of communication skills on the cuts has been slammed.

Michael Tull, national president of the community and public sector union, slammed Ten’s executives for ”the terrible practice of management by rumour … the staff have been hearing for days about possibly losing their jobs by reading about it in the press. 

Whatever they’ve got to say, they need to say it to their employees and say it now.”

Tull said Ten must reveal a plan ”that is actually in the long-term interests of the network and goes beyond job cuts. 

”They have legal responsibilities under the Fair Work Act and we’re going to make sure they stick to them.”

After days of rumours and leaks to the press from senior staff management at the network have come clean and said that they are struggling to compete. 

Last week we followed up with the Ten Network re their IPTV offering neither Shoebridge nor other executives at the network retuned calls.  

Fairfax Media said that Ten news chief Peter Meakin is said to be upset at having to enforce the redundancies, given he was lured to the network last year to ”build” its news and currents affairs programming. Some insiders claim that Meakin could also call it quits. 

The early, morning and late news bulletins are all expected to be axed, leaving only the 5pm and weekend bulletins. 

Behind-the-scenes news employees including camera operators, editors, floor managers and technicians are expected to bear the brunt of the cuts. 

MUmBRELLA said that McLennan had acknowledged to staff that they were going through a “tough period” and that the business would need to take “painful” steps to restructure.

“It is a tough period for Ten and we need to take some painful, but necessary, measures to restructure the business,” wrote McLennan.

“Our existing business model needs to change and we need to achieve greater efficiencies, tighter cost management and greater focus in terms of the parts of the company in which we invest.”

In a statement the network confirmed: “A voluntary redundancy program has commenced in Network Ten’s News and Operations department.”

The axing of the show comes against a backdrop of dire ratings and falling advertising revenue share for Ten in all timeslots.

On Friday, the network was beaten for audience share by Nine’s digital channel Go in Sydney and Brisbane, and ran neck-and-neck with 7Two in Adelaide.

The latest advertising spend data showed that the network’s share of ad revenue had fallen to just 19.3 per cent of the free TV market.

Network Ten news and current affairs director Peter Meakin told the Australian Financial Review this morning that: “Revenue is down the toilet and the ratings are less than auspicious.

“Clearly the board has had a look at it and this is the decision they’ve made and I guess we have to live it.”

One person commenting on the mUmBRELLA web site said ‘Just another nail in the coffin for one of the longest and most painful demises of a once solid network that was also a very profitable business. The way the business has been allowed to be run into the ground through a complete lack of TV knowledge and business acumen is something that should be closely looked at and shareholders should be demanding answers. 

Management do not appear to be in any way accountable for their actions and one must feel sorry for the loyal staff that have stuck by through all the broken promises. Sad thing is its not over yet!! Blackdog must chuckle into his SMH every morning”.

Another person wrote “150 jobs go to loyal committed everyday people, and the impact that has on their families, yet the CEO and now Executive Chairman only months ago got a lazy 5m for presiding over the greatest stuff up in modern media”.

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