Sat 1 plays down threat of sanctions

Claims no danger of losing license due to cuts

Sat 1, currently under fire for scaling back its news and information programming in the wake of parent group ProSiebenSat 1’s takeover of pan-European broadcaster SBS, is playing down threats of sanctions by media regulators.

In a statement released Wednesday, Sat 1 said its overall news and information programming would be at 23% following the cuts — still above the 19% level of 2000, when state media regulator LMK last renewed the channel’s broadcasting license. Sat 1 said there was therefore no reason for the media regulator to threaten its license.

Citing financial factors, Sat 1 cancelled three magazine programs, including afternoon, evening and latenight broadcasts, but said it was not canceling its main 6:30 p.m. news program, “Sat 1 News.”

Along with the cuts, 55 staffers were laid off. The web said job contracts for 35 of the employees were set to expire in November and that it would offer positions to some of the remaining 20 staffers.

“The cancellation of formats is part of our business,” said Sat 1 managing director Mattias Alberti. “Yet it’s still painful when it affects our colleagues at the station rather than an external production.”

Alberti said the channel was forced to revamp its programming, including the development of new productions, due to a ratings drop since September.

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