Nine to accelerate cost cuts

Nine yesterday outlined operational initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nine will now fast-track the three year $100m cuts it flagged last month, as well as plans to cut $266m this year, including $28 million in programming.

This includes savings on Drama and Children’s TV -assuming the NRL 2020 season is cancelled.

“This is a very difficult time for all Australians, on many levels,” CEO Hugh Marks told the ASX and the JP Morgan Virtual Conference.

“Notwithstanding an expected significant impact on our business as conditions continue to evolve, we are confident that with our enhanced audience position, our mix of assets and the commitment of the Nine team, we will emerge from this period a stronger and more competitive company.”

Nine also reported how it has managed to stay operation yet safeguard the health of its staff: Nine has successfully transitioned the majority of its workforce to work at home with minimal interruption. Notwithstanding, Nine’s newsrooms across the country remain open.

The changes come despite Nine News (+30%), A Current Affair (+13%) and the Today show (+26%) up, as well as across Nine’s digital mast-heads.

Both Stan and 9Now are also reporting accelerating growth in active subscribers / users and usage.

The table broadly highlights the first round of these initiatives, premised on the crisis continuing for the duration of calendar 2020. Any earlier (or later) recovery will change the magnitude and/or timing of these metrics, with a prolonged economic impact likely to result in further initiatives.

Yesterday Nine announced a renewal of Doctor Doctor.

Source: Mediaweek

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