In response to a significant decline in advertising revenues, ITV has initiated job cuts, reflecting the challenges faced by traditional broadcasters in the wake of the digital era.

The Telegraph has uncovered that ITV recently laid off employees within its in-house advertising agency, a move attributed to grappling with the most substantial advertising downturn since the financial crisis. However, a source within the company refuted any direct correlation between the job losses and the economic downturn.

The decision to reduce staff was communicated to employees at ITV Creative earlier in the year, with concerns looming over potential further redundancies in the coming months.

This development comes on the heels of Chief Executive Dame Carolyn McCall’s recent remarks, indicating uncertainties regarding the possibility of new cost-cutting measures resulting in job losses.

Last year, ITV encountered an 8 percent decline in advertising revenues, primarily driven by decreased spending on campaigns amid broader economic challenges. The traditional TV business of the network experienced a particularly acute downturn, with a 15 percent fall, partially offset by growth in its ITVX streaming division.

Cost-cutting initiatives

Dame Carolyn announced plans to expedite cost-cutting initiatives, aiming to extract £150 million from the business annually ahead of schedule. Additionally, ITV intends to implement a new restructuring program to achieve further savings of £50 million each year. As part of these measures, a hiring freeze has been enforced across the organisation, expected to remain in effect until at least the summer. Moreover, stricter controls on expenses, including travel and entertainment, have been imposed on staff.

The job cuts primarily impacted ITV Creative, the in-house agency responsible for crafting promotional campaigns for the channel and its shows. Despite employing around 90 individuals, representing only a fraction of ITV’s total workforce of 5,000, the layoffs underscore the broader challenges faced by traditional broadcasters as they navigate the evolving media landscape dominated by streaming platforms and digital advertising giants like Facebook and Google.

Shifts in consumer behaviour

The move mirrors a similar trend observed at Channel 4, which recently announced substantial job cuts amounting to approximately 18 percent of its workforce, alongside plans to sell its former London headquarters to bolster its financial position.

In light of the ongoing shifts in consumer behaviour and media consumption habits, ITV is redirecting its focus towards streaming services, as evidenced by the recent sale of its stake in BritBox International to the BBC for £255 million. Furthermore, the company aims to expand its production arm, ITV Studios, known for producing acclaimed titles such as “Line of Duty” and “Bodyguard,” despite facing challenges from last year’s Hollywood strikes, which began to impact revenues within the division.

As traditional broadcasters continue to adapt to the digital landscape, the industry’s landscape remains in flux, with companies like ITV striving to strike a balance between traditional broadcasting and the burgeoning demand for streaming content.

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.