Slovak TV axes staffers

Job cuts will cost broadcaster $6 mil

PRAGUE — Pubcaster Slovak TV (STV) has slashed 1,015 jobs in a move to cut operating expenses and losses.

Monthly operating losses are reportedly in the range of $500,000, while the cost of layoffs is said to be $6 million.

Most of the effected employees put in their last day of work on Friday but a small number will stay on an additional three months. Cuts were across the board, in all departments and in all three of STV’s studios.

Broadcaster has suffered losses since its split from Czech TV in 1993, when the former Czechoslovakia was dissolved into two countries. While minor staff cuts had taken place, it was widely believed that the web was staff heavy, especially compared with its younger commercial rivals.

In January, Richard Rybnicek, the web’s new general director, was appointed to deal with the financial crunch. He was brought in from regional commercial broadcaster Joj TV, on the understanding that he would make the necessary cuts.

An ongoing question surrounding STV is the future of its second channel. With funds for acquisitions pared back, the second channel has survived largely on a diet of re-runs. Although there have been ongoing calls for privatizing STV2, Rybnicek has said he wants to keep the channel within STV.

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