'Worst case scenario' as MediaWorks proposes 130 redundancies, pay cuts extended to September

The company is proposing 130 job cuts.
The company is proposing 130 job cuts. Photo credit: File

MediaWorks is proposing to make 130 staff redundant as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drastically impact advertising revenue, in what the company's chief executive has called a "worst-case scenario".

Michael Anderson announced the news on Monday morning, saying MediaWorks will restructure its radio, sales, and out-of-home divisions.

Staff in the media company's radio, television, and digital workforce had already been asked to take a 15 percent wage cut for at least three months in March. Anderson said that reduction will now extend until September.

In an email to staff, Anderson said it was the "worst-case scenario" for MediaWorks, which owns Newshub and many of New Zealand's commercial radio stations.

"Back in March, I told you all that we are in a fight for our survival and that we will have some very tough calls to make as we tackle the biggest crisis of our lifetime.

"As you know, COVID-19 has simultaneously changed the world and impacted our business in ways that we could not predict or prepare for.

"It has also completely changed the market that we operate in and this means that we must adapt to ensure our survival and sustainability in the coming months."

MediaWorks is still in the process of trying to sell its television business, including its Newshub brand. Up to 520 jobs could be on the line if a buyer is not found.

"Because the sale process for TV is ongoing, there will only be a handful of changes to this area of our business and corporate at this stage," Anderson said.