Bertelsmann denies 10,000 jobs under threat

But confirms some redundancies are likely

BERLIN -- Bertelsmann has dismissed as "pure speculation" media reports that the company plans to cut some 10,000 jobs this year but confirmed some redundancies are likely as the German media giant adjusts to the global economic crisis.

Bertelsmann, which controls European TV giant RTL Group, booked a €94 million ($134 million) net loss in the first quarter of this year. Debt climbed to €6.7 billion ($9.5 billion).

CEO Hartmut Ostrowski has said the company will have to chop "hundreds of millions of Euros" from its debit column this year in what he has termed "the largest cost cutting program in (Bertelsmann's) history."

So far Bertelsmann has been careful not to say where the cuts will come. CFO Thomas Rabe has started a top-to-bottom analysis of every department in the transnational conglomerate. Results are expected by late summer. Bertelsmann says job cuts are not its "top priority" but has not yet ruled anything out.

Bertelsmann employs around 100,000 people worldwide.