TV5 Network Inc. said Wednesday it will lay off about 200 employees until the end of December as the third-ranked broadcast network ends production of entertainment programs.
TV5 president and chief executive Vincent Reyes told reporters most employees who would be laid off were involved in entertainment production.
“Unfortunately quite a lot because we are no longer producing all these huge entertainment productions. We don’t need that amount of people,” Reyes said in a news briefing.
Reyes, a former basketball coach, said TV5 would instead focus on sports, news programs and American TV series.
“The difficult part here is we have to let go of a lot of people. It’s a reality now. Gone are the days where you can be profitable with very heavy overhead. It’s an economic reality,” he said.
Reyes earlier said the network had terminated its partnership with Viva Communications, which handled the network’s entertainment programs.
“The current operational overhead that we had when I took over was just too heavy. It’s too heavy that didn’t make business sense. We have to make tough decision,” said Reyes, who was appointed president of the network on Oct. 1.
The network currently has about 1,000 employees.
“I think we are going to cut that by about 20 percent, but it’s not in one shoot. We have had several efforts already to get to that number,” Reyes said,
Reyes said a number of managers, executives and regular rank-and-file employees would be affected by the manpower reduction program.
He said the layoff would be implemented “as soon as possible.”
Reyes said the company was expecting huge savings from the manpower reduction program.
“As a percentage, maybe our combined productions and operational expenses, I think we are going to cut it by 50 percent and we are gonna grow our revenues by 37 percent by next year,” he said.
Reyes said these strategies would help the network achieve its goal to break even by 2019.
“We are losing a lot of money, but we are going to slash it by 67 percent next year,” he said.
“For TV5, the strategy is quite simple. Increase the topline, grow the pipeline [content] and trim the waistline [operational efficiency],” Reyes said.
MediaQuest Holdings Inc. bought TV5 in 2009 from the Cojuangco family for P4 billion, and acquired MPB Primedia of Malaysia, a TV5 major block-timer, for $16 million.
MediaQuest’s investments in TV5 was in line with its strategy of developing media, content and production resources to complement other media assets and platforms such as Cignal, a direct-to-home satellite service launched in 2010.
Media Quest is owned by the Beneficial Trust Fund of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which also has interests in Nation Broadcasting Corp., Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, BusinessWorld and Unitel Group.