Baton profit on downbeat

Restructuring of Baton/CTV taking longer than planned

TORONTO — Consolidating CTV into Baton Broadcasting Inc. has resulted in a 30% lower third-quarter profit than the company declared a year ago, Baton/CTV reported Wednesday.

“This integration of operations was very complex, and accordingly, it took somewhat longer to achieve than originally expected,” president and CEO Ivan Fecan said in a press release.

Profit was C$5.02 million ($3.42 million) in the third quarter ended May 31, 1998, down from $4.89 million the previous year. Earnings per share were 8¢, compared with 18¢ in 1997.

Baton announced the elimination of 334 positions early last month, taking the total to more than 400 since the Toronto-based broadcaster took control of CTV Television Networks last August. Severance packages have accounted for $5.65 million of the restructuring costs, which the company estimates will reach about $7.82 million.

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