ORF boss threatens major job cuts

Austrian pubcaster must save $134 mil by 2010

COLOGNE, Germany -- Alexander Wrabetz, general director of Austrian public broadcaster ORF has threatened major job cuts if ORF's workers' council doesn't meet his target of chopping 440 positions, Austrian media reported Thursday.

Hit by falling advertising and increased competition from German commercial channels, ORF booked a €79 million ($111 million) loss last year. Austria's General Accounting Office has ordered the channel to lop €95 million ($134 million) off its books to return to a balanced budget by 2010.

ORF had hoped early retirement and contract buy-outs, along with cuts to workers' benefits, would be sufficient to slim its ranks and meet the fiscal targets. But after meeting with employee representatives, Wrabetz has reportedly threatened to begin slashing jobs if another solution cannot be found.
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