U.K. TV broadcaster Channel 4 says it will not be proceeding with the planned launch of three digital radio stations due to a slump in ad revenues.
The move is the company’s latest response to a 5% downturn in its TV advertising revenues. It had also previously announced plans for a 15% reduction in staff (around 150 posts) as announced by the company in late September, and cost cutting of over £50 million ($85,370,000) in 2008 and 2009.
Channel 4 says the withdrawal from radio, which involves up to 15 job cuts, will save Channel 4 an initial outlay of up to £10 million ($17,070,000) in 2009.
“We’ve pursued our radio plans in good faith and continue to believe DAB has a strong future and that we could make a return from radio in the medium term,” said chief executive, Andy Duncan in a statement. “Frustratingly, our plans have been overtaken by a drastic recent downturn in our revenues and we will have to forgo this future profit stream.”
Channel 4 also intends to withdraw from 4 Digital Group (4DG), the consortium through which the broadcaster was awarded its first licence to run a DAB multiplex in July 2007.