Virgin Media axes 15% of staff

Virgin Media is to cut around 15% of its UK workforce as part of a cost-cutting drive. The cable operator is the latest broadcaster to make redundancies in the face of an advertising downturn.

A spokeswoman for the company has confirmed around 2,200 jobs will be lost from the 14,500-strong workforce. She says the review is in early stages and cannot comment on where the job losses will come from. However, it is expected that the review will affect all areas of the business including the marketing, sales and content teams.

Virgin Media operations include Virgin Mobile, Virgin Media TV, its content arm, and sales house IDS, which also handles media sales for UKTV and sports broadcaster Setanta.

It is the first major cull of employee numbers since Virgin Media rebranded from NTL:Telewest in February 2007.

In early 2006 rival cable operators NTL and Telewest merged to create the UK’s only cable provider. The following April, it acquired Virgin Mobile and licensed the Virgin name for the group and rebranded a year later.

Virgin Media says the restructure is aimed at “driving further improvements” in operational performance.

It aims to reduce its workforce by approximately 2200 by 2012. The majority of changes are likely to be implemented between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the end of 2010.

Virgin Media chief executive, Neil Berkett, says: “These changes are critical to ensuring Virgin Media is positioned to compete effectively and deliver on our customers’ changing expectations.”

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