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Turner slashes workforce, some international cuts

Turner Broadcasting System is slashing 1,475 jobs as part of a major cost-cutting initiative. Most of the cuts will be in the US, but there will be some job losses coming at its international division.

John MartinThe overall figure represents about 10% of the Time Warner-owned broadcaster’s global workforce, and jobs will be lost at various TBS businesses around the world. The bulk of the job losses will be made from Turner’s Atlanta headquarters with almost 1,000 of the 5,500 staff facing redundancy.

Turner will not break out the headcount at its international businesses, but the latest round of cost savings will largely be US-focused at its various sites in the country.

Internationally, Turner has already made deep cuts. In the wake of Gerhard Zeiler (pictured, right) joining from RTL in April 2012, a wide-ranging restructure was implemented that involved the workforce in the EMEA region being reduced by about 30% and the Asian team by a greater proportion.

In the midst of that round of job losses and restructuring, Turner said its Latin America operations were insulated from the changes. However, staff in the Lat Am region will be hit by the latest streamlining effort. A Turner spokesman told TBI that the cuts will be made across Turner’s 18 international locations and at every level.

zeiler_173000The changes come in the wake of Turner appointing a new CFO, with Pascale Desroches moving from Time Warner to TBS.

TBS CEO John Martin (pictured, top), who replaced Phil Kent at the end of last year and is seen as a strong candidate to ultimately succeed Jeff Bewkes at the helm of Time Warner, outlined an initiative to make TBS a leaner media business in August.

Time Warner’s studio, Warner Bros. Entertainment, also recently revealed it would cut between 900 and 1,000 jobs worldwide.

The news closely follows 21st Century Fox’s failed US$80 billion attempted takeover of Time Warner, which told shareholders it can achieve growth by going it alone.