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Thursday, 22 November, 2001, 18:20 GMT
ITN axes 133 jobs
Trevor McDonald
Trevor McDonald: The face of ITV news
The independent television news provider ITN is to shed up to 133 jobs as part of a round of cuts.

The cutbacks have come after ITN slashed the value of its contract to provide news programmes for ITV - to 36m from 45m - to see off a rival bid from a Sky consortium.

The losses will affect both management and television production workers as the company switches over to new digital technology next year.

Jon Snow
Channel 4 news: Read by Jon Snow, provided by ITN

Although earlier reports had suggested ITN would lose its head of foreign news, the role will be maintained and expanded to include the broader role of managing editor.

ITN will also keep its senior foreign editor and a team of duty foreign editors.

The company would begin a formal consultation with staff next week and voluntary redundancy would be available to staff until 10 December, ITN said.

Individual members of staff will know whether they had been affected before 14 December.

A spokesman for the National Union of Journalists said: "The prospect of a Christmas of ill will is looming large."

The NUJ had written to independent TV watchdog the ITC to request an urgent meeting to discuss the layoffs, he said.

'Quality staff'

The company said the the losses "are due to a number of factors, including the UK media recession, the increasingly competitive environment in which the company operates and ITN's reduced price for the ITV News contract".

The number of jobs lost could be reduced to 80, depending on the outcome of negotiations for new broadcast news contracts, ITN said.

"The company has pursued a strategy to protect its front line journalism, and only 10 journalists will lose their jobs at ITV News out of an ITV newsroom of 130," it added.

ITN said it would be taking a proactive role in trying to find jobs for the "high quality staff who will be leaving".

See also:

22 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Challenge ahead for ITN
31 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
ITN's global expansion
08 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
ITV signs ITN for six years
26 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
The significance of ITN's news deal
31 Jul 01 | Business
Bidding closes for ITV news
23 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Sky battles ITN for news contract
13 Jun 01 | Business
ITV to seek bids from news providers
01 Aug 00 | UK
ITN joins all-news battle
30 Jul 00 | Business
BSkyB eyes ITV news deal
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