The decision, made this morning at a Board meeting, is understood to affect approximately 150 staff.
TEN issued the following statement:
Network Ten would like to thank the people involved with Wake Up and the TEN Early, Morning and Late News for their dedication, enthusiasm and hard work.
TEN Eyewitness News at 5pm will continue to be produced locally in each market. It will continue to have local news, sport and weather, local presenters, local reporters and local production staff, and will continue to bring the best of local, national and international news to viewers.
A voluntary redundancy program has commenced in Network Ten’s News and Operations department.
No further details are available at this stage.
TEN is understood to be in discussions with Wake Up hosts Natarsha Belling and James Mathison about their future with the network.
CEO Hamish McLennan also emailled staff today:
Today we are announcing a series of proposed changes at Network Ten.
As you all know, the television advertising market has been soft in recent years. At the same time, our ratings, revenue and earnings performance has been disappointing.
It is a tough period for Ten and we need to take some painful, but necessary, measures to restructure the business.
Our existing business model needs to change and we need to achieve greater efficiencies, tighter cost management and greater focus in terms of the parts of the company in which we invest.
A review has been conducted to establish a new structure for Ten and to better allocate our resources, with the aim of improving our performance.
As a result of that review, there are proposed changes to News programs, the structure of News and Operations, and other departments.
Unfortunately, it is proposed that Wake Up and the Early, Morning and Late News will cease production on Friday, May 23, 2014. Studio 10 is performing well and will continue as a vital part of our daytime schedule, which ranks number one.
Despite the commitment and enthusiasm of its staff, Wake Up has not resonated with enough viewers to make it a viable program.
It is very disappointing that these programs have not been more successful, but I would like to thank everyone involved with them for their focus, dedication and hard work.
We need to use our News resources – staff and content – more effectively, while continuing to provide high-quality local News services.
TEN Eyewitness News at 5pm, which is consistently number one in its timeslot, will continue to be produced locally in each market. It will continue to have local presenters, reporters, production staff and so on. It will continue to bring local news to viewers.
A process of consultation will begin tomorrow around a proposed voluntary redundancy program in News, Operations and Engineering. Consultation will take place in each station with the News Directors, Operations Managers and Human Resources staff to manage this process.
We are in a constant, fierce battle for the attention of viewers and we need to ensure we are investing in the areas that will deliver the greatest potential in terms of audiences and revenue.
The next few weeks will be a difficult and sad period, as colleagues leave the business.
Let me assure you the changes are not being undertaken lightly. No one is happy about them, but unfortunately they are necessary.
To the people affected by today’s announcement, please accept my thanks for your important contribution to Ten.