Monday, November 17, 2008

British media crisis deepens

British media groups face a growing crisis, with more than 2,300 job cuts announced within the last week and hundreds more expected against the backdrop of a deepening global downturn.

The written press is under particular threat, as readers abandon papers for online sources of news, while advertising rates drop, free newspapers saturate the market and the price of newsprint is expected to soar.

The Press Gazette industry publication recently estimated about 140 jobs per week have been cut in daily newspapers since July, with regional papers hardest-hit.

All the national dailies have announced staff cuts, while broadcasters plan to shed thousands of jobs: 3,000 at the BBC, 1,000 at ITV and 150 at Channel Four.

News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch, whose company owns the Times, the Sun and the News of the World in Britain, said the press faces a grim 12 months in both Britain and Australia.

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