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MediaWorks announces 90 staff to lose jobs in cost-cutting move

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Media company MediaWorks intends laying off up to 90 staff in an effort to cut costs.

Chris McKeen/Stuff

Media company MediaWorks intends laying off up to 90 staff in an effort to cut costs.

MediaWorks, which owns about half the country’s commercial radio stations, intends laying off up to 90 staff in an effort to cut costs.

The company specialises in radio, outdoor advertising and interactive media. It operates More FM, the Edge, the Breeze, Mai FM and the Rock among other prominent radio stations.

In an email sent to staff Tuesday morning, chief executive Cam Wallace said two-thirds of the company’s costs were labour related.

He said the impact of inflationary pressures and a likely recession this year meant costs must be reduced.

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The jobs to be axed include roles that are vacant at present.

The advertising market is coming under pressure as high inflation and rising interest rates reduce marketing budgets.

Association of New Zealand Advertisers chief executive Lindsay Mouat told RNZ last year that businesses were putting longer term advertising spending on the backburner due to belt tightening.

Mouat said at the time that the outlook for this year was gloomy given the downturn in business and consumer confidence.

The latest quarterly survey of business opinion published by the NZ Institute of Economic Research last week showed business confidence sank to its lowest level in the history of the survey.

NZIER principal economist Christina Leung said firms had become much more cautious and were looking to reduce staff numbers, with a net 9% of those surveyed expecting to cut staff numbers early this year.

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The World Bank warns the global economy is on a “razor’s edge”.

In a statement to RNZ, a Mediaworks spokesperson said staff had been given “an update on a period of business change we are about to embark on”.

“We have unfortunately had to make the difficult decision to review our operating model and reduce our workforce by up to 90 roles [this includes a significant number of vacant roles].”

The company would start consulting with staff soon and wanted to ensure it supported people while it worked through the process.

MediaWorks is jointly owned by the United States private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management and advertising company QMS which operates outdoor advertising sites in both New Zealand and Australia.

The company sold its television assets TV3 and Bravo to global broadcaster Discovery in 2020.

Its most recent accounts showed a loss of $2.9 million for the year to the end of December 2021, following a loss of $4.8m in 2020. Its accounts for 2022 have yet to be filed with the Companies Office.



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