“To: All Staff” started the long-expected
message that went up in all departments at the Nine Network
stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane yesterday:

As part of the restructuring we are offering a window of opportunity of
staff member who may wish to consider voluntary redundancy.

This offer is available to all our staff member across TCN, GTV & QTQ.

This
offer is open until 9th of December and if you are interested would you
be kind enough to let Liske Watters, Cameron Murray and Tony Shepherd
at TCN, QTQ and GTV respectively.

Obviously the company reserves the right to accept or otherwise, each and every voluntary redundancy request.

Please be assured that your inquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Best regards,

Ian Audsley

It’s clear Nine wants to use the scheme to clean out what Audsley and
others believe are dead wood, time servers and under performers, but
there could be pain and a lot of angst at several programs as talented
middle ranking producers and managers seek to leave Nine.

Nine cut more than 60 staff and executives in the great end of
financial year clearance in the last week of June. That aimed at
finding around $15 to $20 million of savings. That means around
100 staff departures will be sought this time to get the bulk of the
$30 million savings – half are budgeted to come from News and Current
Affairs.

Meanwhile,
the harder heads in the financial community know that these cost cuts
and the writedowns in the value of the inventory (and the cost of the
Commonwealth Games next March) means Nine has built in a profit rise of
at least 10% and probably more like 15% before any revenue increase (on
an EBIT basis).

That’s what the voluntary redundancies and all the other cost cutting is about: profit and nothing else.