Broadcaster to slash workforce by 10%

Money-losing Gallic pubcaster France Televisions will shed up to 900 employees, some 10% of staffers, between now and 2012 as part of a plan to return it to profitability.

Employees will leave through voluntary early retirement, the company said Tuesday.

Unions complained that jobs were being permanently lost and that program quality would suffer.

Some 200 people left the company in 2007 through a similar process.

The three-year plan, devised with the French government, also foresees tighter controls on spending. Operational costs will be allowed a 0.2% annual increase between 2009 and 2012, while program costs have a little more leeway at 1.5% per year.

Other savings will come from management restructuring as France Televisions becomes a single enterprise rather than a series of linked businesses.

Substantial savings are also expected when analog TV is switched off in 2011.

Meanwhile, the company will try to maintain modest investment in new developments, rising to €66 million ($94 million) in 2012.

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