Victim of the health crisis, which has accelerated the phenomenon of erosion of advertising revenue observed by international news channels, Euronews is once again forced to reinvent itself, with further job cuts as a result.
The chairman of the board of directors Michael Peters presented, on Tuesday 17 November, to the trade unions a plan to redeploy the workforce, which should lead to the loss of about fifty jobs. Some job creation should make it possible to keep the number of departures within a range of 30 to 40. The Euronews group currently employs around 900 people – including 500 on permanent contracts.
Asked by Agence France-Presse (AFP), Mr. Peters explained that it was difficult to quantify more precisely the number of job cuts because employees will be offered a modification of their employment contract, which they are free to refuse.
The international channel, headquartered in Lyon, had already gone through this exercise in 2017, when it abandoned its traditional multiplex to offer twelve language channels, each with its own editorial logic. The group had, on this occasion, recorded 90 departures. The new plan does “No savings” on compensation of employees, assured Mr. Peters.
“We expected announcements”, particularly due to the impact “Catastrophic” of the health crisis, noted Pierre Assemat, secretary of the company’s CSE. “It’s a complicated moment to live for everyone, especially in the most impacted services, such as the control room and the video library, where there is no possibility of reclassification”, added the elected CGT (majority). “Some people refuse this plan but it will be difficult to reverse the trend”, he conceded.
A fall in advertising revenue
Based on his contacts with his counterparts from other international news channels, the head of Euronews estimates that the profession has had to face since the start of the health crisis with a fall of 35% to 50% of its advertising revenues. .
But the epidemic has only accelerated a fundamental trend, according to him: “Today, brands no longer want to associate their name with information that is “what misfortune”, which speaks of war, epidemics, corruption… ”
However, if the channel saw its advertising revenues fall, despite audiences “Which have never been so good”, it has not been able to reduce its costs in proportion and has not benefited from public aid. “We must continue to invest tens of millions in the production of “hard news” which are no longer profitable, while investing in new content which can be monetizable ”, summarizes Mr. Peters.
The objective of creating thematic mini-channels
Given the small size of the company, which generates 80 million euros in turnover, the solution therefore involves redeployments, accompanied by an effort to reduce costs, and the continued creation of variations in the chain. frankly, he believes.
Euronews, which lost the support of its powerful partner and American shareholder NBC in the spring, has already repatriated the production of its African version Africanews to France to save money.
The new human resources released thanks to this restructuring will be allocated to the creation of “Vertical”, thematic mini-channels on the model of CNN Money (personal finance) or CNN Travel (travel), to which “The brands of our advertisers will be able to associate more easily”.
Euronews has already launched Living (ecological issues) and Travel. In the pipes: verticals on culture, economy, technologies. Mr. Peters “Also believes a lot” to the Hope information dissemination project “Positive and inspiring”.