ITV faces more layoffs before March

One-fifth of work force threatened as cost savings eyed

LONDON -- ITV expects to cut more than 1,000 jobs -- almost a fifth of its work force -- by the end of February in order to remain on track to meet its cost-savings program, COO John Cresswell said Tuesday.

ITV staff learned Tuesday that, in addition to the 500 posts to be culled this year, another 430 jobs will be axed from its news division and 75 from its technology division.

ITV said it has cut 425 jobs thus far.

"The cost-efficiency program is designed to sustain ITV's 1 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) investment in U.K. content, which is at the heart of the turnaround strategy," ITV said.

"We are committed to a self-help, self-funding solution to securing ITV's future," Cresswell added. "In order to sustain our investment in U.K. content, we have to keep on top of our cost base."

The redundancy program is intended to save 125 million pounds ($222 million) by the end of 2010, and comes a week after media regulator Ofcom agreed to drop some key ITV regional news obligations. A formal consultation process will begin with unions next week.