Bosses at Norway’s national commercial television channel, TV2, feel forced to cut costs by NOK 350 million (USD 43 million), to cope with a rapidly changing media market. All employees will be offered severance packages.
TV2’s chief executive Olav T Sandnes had claimed in December that “we will clearly define the positions we will win, what we will do more of and what we should do less of.” Now, four months later, the cost cuts were being announced Tuesday as part of a major organization and strategy evaluation called “TV2 i 2020.”
It was unclear how many employees may lose their jobs. Revenues rose by NOK 118 million last year, to nearly NOK 3.9 billion, but costs also rose, by nearly NOK 500 million.
Media commentator Knut Kristian Hauger, editor of media magazine Kampanje, called the cuts “serious and dramatic,” adding that it marked the most severe budget-slashing in the channel’s 25-year history. “At the same time, it’s happening in all other media firms as well, whether it’s Schibsted (which owns newspapers including Aftenposten and VG) NRK or A-media,” Hauger said. “Everyone is cutting, and preparing for a new competitive situation.”