Newly decreed measures to cut costs may not be drastic enough for the vast German net ARD, which includes 14 regional stations.
On Monday and Tuesday, a meeting of station directors resulted in the resolution to save a whopping DM300million ($ 188 million) on costs by putting a freeze on hiring until 1996, plus cutting annual increases in operating and production budgets by a third in that time.
The cuts are part of a larger package targeted at wiping out a $ 1 billion deficit. However, with private competition taking away ad revenues and driving up production and programming costs, these efforts may prove insufficient.
The ARD directors hope to gain more serious financial support by again boosting the viewers’ fees in 1996, an act that has to be approved by Parliament.