Staff Reporters
Nov 28, 2023

300 staff to lose jobs as TVB reorganises its operations

The layoffs were announced as part of a cost-cutting exercise, as the Hong Kong broadcaster restructures its TV production and e-commerce businesses.

300 staff to lose jobs as TVB reorganises its operations
Hong Kong broadcaster TVB announced yesterday that it will be cutting 300 jobs and reducing its number of free-to-air TV channels to four. 
The announcement comes as the loss-making broadcaster seeks to make savings by restructuring its TV broadcasting and e-commerce businesses. 
More than 200 staff will be laid off in its broadcasting division as the overall production of programming hours will be shortened. The arrangement is expected to save HK$100 million (US$13 million) in content costs in 2024. 
TVB said it will merge two channels, J2 and Finance, Sport and Information into a new channel called TVB+, which the station says will seek to provide content for a young audience.
Post-restructuring, TVB will operate four terrestrial free-to-air TV channels in Hong Kong: Jade, TVB+, TVB News and Pearl.
"While we will continue to invest strongly in our prime-time production, we will reduce our production budgets for fringe-hour content and discontinue any programs that fall short of their desired audience or commercial impact," TVB said in a filing to the stock exchange.
An additional 100 jobs will be cut as the broadcaster also announced that it was combining Ztore and Neigbuy, two online retailers, shutting down the Ztore website and mobile app, which will cease to operate on December 19.
This is anticipated to reduce its e-commerce business's yearly fixed costs and overheads by HK$50 million to HK$60 million.
TVB said it had submitted the restructuring plan to Hong Kong’s Communications Authority on Monday.
More companies announce layoffs amid recession fears
This year, a number of businesses have announced layoffs as they reassess their plans in light of growing fears about a slowing economy.
The job cuts at the beginning of the year, which were mostly concentrated in the tech industry, including Meta, Twitter, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Salesforce, has now extended to media companies. 
In October, Business Insider reported that the Wall Street Journal laid off staff in its Hong Kong bureau, and mulitple company insiders said they were bracing for more cuts.
Meanwhile, Private Media, publisher of Australian online news outlet 'Crikey', told editorial staff on November 24 that they had until 4 pm that day to self-nominate for a redundancy payout. According to news reports, eight redundancies were announced in total, including three editorial roles and five non-editorial roles. In a statement given to local media houses, Private Media CEO Will Hayward cited a difficult year for advertising revenue.
“Like much of the market, Private Media has had a very challenging year for advertising revenue. We have now made the decision to reduce our commercial headcount. We are working with the union on any changes to our editorial team.”
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