Network Ten has axed three programs, Wake Up and the morning and late night bulletins, and will sack up to 150 staff in the latest round of bad news at the struggling TV station.
In an email to staff today, CEO Hamish McLennan said Ten needed to use its journalist staff more effectively and that the changes were not being undertaken lightly.
“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,” Mr McLennan said in the email.
“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.”
Ten has since confirmed the cuts.
“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,” it said.
Ten Eyewitness News at 5pm will continue to be produced locally in each market.
A voluntary redundancy program is underway in the news and operations department.
The fate of up to 150 workers is understood to be in limbo while management decides just how many will be made redundant.
Wake Up has been one of Ten’s poorest performing programs since it launched in November 2013, so it’s not surprising that it has been cancelled.
Many of the employees, floor staff, crew and assistants were specifically recruited to start up the breakfast show, which was to ring in a new era for the network.
It spent tens of thousands of dollars alone on building the set at Manly and running cables from Ten’s Pyrmont headquarters out to the beach to avoid satellite transmission problems.
However, Wake Up has been plagued with issues since the outset when its creator and producer Adam Boland suffered a breakdown and quit.
I feel very sad for all my friends at Ten. Very good people, let down by many things, including my early exit. Thinking of them all today.
— Adam Boland (@postboxadam) May 21, 2014
Former host of Ten show The Project Dave Hughes also took to Twitter in support of his old colleagues.
Some brilliant Ch10 staff are gonna be looking for work. An astute employer would snap em up quick smart.
— Dave Hughes (@DHughesy) May 21, 2014
The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) says it will hold meetings with affected staff as soon as possible.
“We had a short discussion with the company this morning,” Mike Dobbie from the MEAA told AAP.