Turner swings the axe on Euro/MENA operations with 30% of staff to go

Editor | 16-01-2013

In what it somewhat euphemistically calls a “restructuring” Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) International is to lose almost 30% of its staff in its Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) business.

The Time Warner subsidiary operates versions of core Turner brands including CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies, as well as local networks and businesses offering more than 100 channels in more than 30 languages in 200 countries around the world. TBS EMEA broadcasts 17 branded channels via 53 feeds in 27 languages in more than 100 territories in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Of the anticipated 30% reduction in positions across the EMEA business upon completion of the process, Turner is including open headcount, positions that became vacant and are not being reoccupied, redundancies and outsourcing. Hinting at further consolidation within its estates, Turner added that some functions which can be handled externally at the same quality will be outsourced.

TBS says that the cuts are the result of a “thorough and carefully considered EMEA-wide review” and are designed to give the company more operating power and accountability within the regions.

“This review required us taking some tough decisions, but they are absolutely necessary to put Turner International in the best possible position for future growth,” revealed recently installed President Gerhard Zeiler. “Greater empowerment and broader accountability for local management will lead to simplified processes throughout the organisation, improved efficiency and reduced costs.”