PRAGUE — Ron Lauder’s Central European Media Enterprises, co-owned by Time Warner, is restructuring its six-nation network of TV stations to counter a “tough market” and shaken consumer confidence, it announced Wednesday.
Advertisers have bolted from commitments, prexy-CEO Adrian Sarbu said in a teleconference accompanying a dour earnings report that showed a record quarterly net loss of $494.2 million. Net revenue for 2012, at $772.1 million, was down from 2011’s $864.8 million, while operating losses for last year totaled $488.2 million, a steep turnaround from 2011’s $6.8 million.
“Tough times call for bold action,” said Sarbu, pledging that the TV group, once seen as a media juggernaut in the region, will restructure this year from a top-down org to a “country-based model.”
Company officials pointed to a 22% rise in revenue at original production division Media Pro Entertainment and a 30% boost in biz this year at VOD service, Voyo.
Ad rate hikes are also in the cards. “In the Czech Republic we are targeting double-digit price increases,” Sarbu said.
CME operates 33 commercial stations across the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Slokavia and Slovenia plus subscription channels in the latter country.