Italy's La 7 plans major reorganization

Telecom Italia Media expects net to grow from 2009-11

ROME -- Telecom Italia Media said Tuesday that it plans to significantly reorganize subsidiary La 7, the smallest of Italy's national television networks, just days after announcing a major round of layoffs at the broadcaster.

TI Media, the media unit owned by former state telephone monopoly Telecom Italia, said that, despite La 7's struggles, it expects profits to rise by at least 7% per year for the three-year period ending in 2011, with most of the profits coming from its multimedia and content production divisions.

The company said it expects to be one of Italy's leaders in the switch to digital television frequencies before 2010, and that its budget for acquiring new programming will remain flat at 90 million euros ($133 million) through 2011.

The company did not go into detail about the reorganization at La 7 -- the only national terrestrial broadcaster not owned by Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset or state broadcaster RAI -- but did say that it expects La 7 to grow from its current 3.2% market share during the 2009-11 period.

The comments were released Tuesday, after the late Monday meeting of TI Media's board of directors.
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