Turner Intl. to pinkslip 250 staff

Gerhard Zeiler puts focus on local offices

LONDON

Turner Broadcasting System Intl. is cutting around 250 jobs, 30% of its staffers, as it restructures its business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The move follows a review of its operations, which include CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies among 17 branded channels that go out via 53 feeds in more than 100 territories.

The bulk of TBS’ EMEA biz is based in London, where 700 of its 900 staffers work.

Some functions will be outsourced. It is understood that there are no plans at the moment to cut any channels and that CNN Intl. won’t be affected.

TBS Intl. prexy Gerhard Zeiler said the decision to ax so many jobs would help protect the company’s long-term prospects.

“This review required tough decisions, but they are absolutely necessary to put Turner Intl. in the best possible position for future growth,” he said.

“Greater empowerment and broader accountability for local management will lead to simplified processes throughout the organization, improved efficiency and reduced costs.”

The job cuts are subject to a staff consultation and follow a review announced in September.

Zeiler, previously CEO of pan-European broadcast giant RTL, was appointed last February.

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