150 Staffers Lose Jobs at Scripps Networks

Tough times in the TV business continue as cable programmer Scripps Networks Interactive eliminated 150 staffers in a cost-cutting move.

“The company has announced a cost management program designed to ensure that we have the right organizational shape and structure to continue to be as strong and successful as we are today. This includes reductions in operational costs from projects that are no longer core to our business, but also requires the elimination of a relatively small number of roles across the business,” Dylan Jones, senior VP of communications at SNI, said in a statement.

“More than a quarter of these eliminations will come from a voluntary early retirement program introduced by the company earlier this year,” Jones said.

The move follows large cutbacks at Time Warner. Its Turner Broadcasting unit fired about 1,500 people last month and Warner Bros. and HBO similarly made moves to reduce head count.

In a memo to staff last month Scripps Networks CEO Ken Lowe cited a tough ad market, declining ratings, industry consolidation and greater competition as reasons for tightening belts.

“As a result, even companies out performing their peers as we are, have to change to reflect the evolving landscape,” Lowe said in the email, which was obtained by the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Company veterans say it is the first time in memory that Scripps has had reductions across the board.

Analysts have been looking for the company to raise the ratings of its networks, but have been troubled by increases in programming costs.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.