London Live to cut third of work force

London-LiveLondon Live, the struggling London city TV station, is set to cut 20 jobs, around a third of its staff, with the cost-savings to be re-invested in programming content.

The channel, owned by Evgeny Lebedev, is making the cuts to its news and current affairs team.  “As the business develops, we are able to assess where our resources are best deployed to drive continued growth into the business,” said Tim Kirkman, chief operating officer for London Live. “We are restructuring the news and current affairs team with the proposed loss of a number of roles.”

London Live has struggled with its programming mix, last Monday its schedule showed 20 consecutive repeats, and in October Ofcom granted the channel permission to reduce its local programming output.

“These funds [saved by cutting headcount] will be re-allocated against new commissions and higher quality acquisitions,” said Kirkman. “It is clear on all our data that Londoners are enjoying this part of our offering which we will continue to improve to drive our overall viewing figures.”

London Live says that its shows were watched by more than 2.3 million adults in December and viewing has doubled since June.  “December was the channel’s best ever month against fierce competition and January has already started significantly better than December,” the company said.

The Lebedev family also owns The Independent and London Evening Standard newspapers.

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