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Decision To Cut Jobs Followed Letter From Minister - Report

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 22 NZPA - Documents show that TVNZ started plans to slash costs and staff a week after getting a letter from Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman.

The New Zealand Herald obtained documents under the Official Information Act. A letter from Dr Coleman to TVNZ's board in January urged the state broadcaster to improve its financial performance and cut costs.

At a briefing on February 4 TVNZ told Dr Coleman of plans to review costs and manage salaries and in following weeks included the likelihood of job losses.

On March 16 TVNZ announced 90 jobs were to be cut as part of a drive to save $25 million after lower than anticipated advertising revenue.

Savings were also expected to be made from the programme commissioning budget (100 hours of local content to go) and departmental operating budgets (worth 10 percent of cuts).

The Government has changed how some funding is allocated with TVNZ having to bid for $15 million that it previously got automatically.

TVNZ is required to pay a dividend and despite calls for that to be foregone the Government has said it must pay. It is up to the board to set the dividend.


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