Channel 4 to Cut Almost 250 Jobs as Advertising Demand Declines

London, UK – Channel 4, a British broadcaster, is expected to announce significant job cuts as it grapples with a decline in advertising demand. The layoffs, which will affect nearly 250 employees, amount to about 15% of the company’s full-time workforce of 1,300. CEO Alex Mahon will personally inform the affected employees this week.

The decision to downsize comes as Channel 4 faces fierce competition from international streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple. Additionally, the broadcaster is feeling the impact of the global advertising downturn as companies prepare for economic uncertainties. These challenges have forced Channel 4 to reassess its operations and make tough decisions to protect its programming budget of £700m while accelerating its digital streaming strategy.

These job cuts mark the deepest reduction in staff in over 15 years for the state-owned broadcaster. Although the UK government considered privatizing Channel 4 last year, it ultimately decided against it. The company heavily relies on advertising for two-thirds of its budget, making it vulnerable to advertising market fluctuations. The impending layoffs are expected to have a significant impact on London-based staff, as Channel 4 has previously committed to increasing employment in regions outside the capital.

The broadcaster has already made adjustments to its programming lineup, scaling back shows such as daytime chatshow “Steph’s Packed Lunch,” “SAS: Who Dares Wins,” and “The Big Narstie Show.” These cuts have dealt a blow to production companies associated with these programs.

Moreover, these layoffs could eclipse the 200 job cuts made during the global financial crisis in 2008. Alex Mahon previously stated that the recent advertising slump was the worst the company has experienced since then.

Channel 4, known for producing innovative programs and contributing significantly to the UK creative economy, is navigating an uncertain economy in the short term. The broadcaster aims to become a fully digital public service broadcaster in the long term and is therefore divesting from its linear channels business and streamlining its operations to become a leaner organization.