Russia's CTC Media to Lay Off 10 Percent of Employees

Moscow - H - 2015
Associated Press

The country's sole publicly traded broadcaster prepares for a difficult year.

CTC Media, Russia's sole publicly traded broadcaster is planning to lay off up to 10 percent of its work force as the TV market braces for a difficult year.

The Russian daily Vedomosti cited an anonymous source saying that about 100 employees of the broadcaster's total personnel of just over 1,000 are to be laid off shortly. CTC is co-owned by Sweden's Modern Times Group (MTG).

The report quoted CTC Media's general director Yuliana Slashcheva as saying the remaining personnel would face reduced bonuses this year.

"For me, it is important to retain key personnel, so layoffs are to be minimal, while economy is to be achieved by cutting bonuses for employees, including top managers," she said, without specifying how exactly bonuses could be reduced.

MTG owns a 37.9 percent stake in CTC Media, which runs TV stations CTC, Domashni, Perets and CTC Love. A blocking stake is controlled by Cyprus-registered Telcrest, while another 36 of the company's stock are traded on NASDAQ.

In accordance with last year's law limiting foreign ownership of Russian media companies to 20 percent stakes as of 2016, MTG would have to reduce the size of its holdings in CTC Media, which the Swedish group said it was willing to do.

Russia's TV advertisement industry is likely to decline by up to 30 percent this year, compared with 2014, according to Goldman Sachs, and major national free-to-air networks are expected to cut content acquisition by about 40 percent.