18 Mar 2010

TVNZ cuts make drop in standards 'inevitable'

9:46 pm on 18 March 2010

Television New Zealand's move to cut its news and current affairs budget makes a drop in standards inevitable, says a lecturer at the Christchurch Broadcasting School.

The state-owned broadcaster is planning to slash $5 million from the budget.

Mr Norris says viewers will notice a difference in what they see on screen.

Mr Norris says there will be fewer reporters, fewer stories that take time to do and more cheap-and-easy options taken.

He says the company is squeezed financially and under enormous pressure from the Government to deliver greater profits.

The broadcaster says some functions will be centralised, and jobs will be cut.

Overall, it has to make savings of $40 million.

Its after-tax profit for the second half of last year was $8.9 million, down from $18.3 million in the same period the year before.

TVNZ spokesperson Megan Richards says some jobs will go, though she will not know how many for another six to eight weeks.

She says some functions, such as video editing, will centralised in Auckland to save money.

One of the unions that represents TVNZ staff, the Public Service Association, believes dozens of jobs will have to be cut.

About 280 staff work in TVNZ's news and current affairs departments.