UK public broadcaster Channel 4 lays off 200 employees

Alex Mahon, CEO of the publicly-owned channel, explained that the staff reduction was due to the country's poor economic situation, a reduction in advertising revenue and the adoption of a new digital strategy.

British public media outlet Channel 4 confirmed in a statement that it will lay off 200 employees. This represents a cut of 18% of its workforce, which will also be diminished by the closure of some 40 job openings that had not yet been filled.

The public broadcaster will also leave its historic headquarters in Horseferry Road, London, and will look for a smaller space. The reduction of staff is one of the causes behind the change of location that will take place in the coming years, in addition to a stronger commitment to remote work.

"While getting ourselves into the right shape for the future is without doubt the right action to take, it does involve making difficult decisions," said Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4. Mahon explained that the "rapid downshift in the U.K. economy and advertising market" forced a structural change.

He added that the reduction in staff would be accompanied by a stronger commitment to digital media, so the channel will "focus cost reductions on legacy activity." The ultimate goal is to turn the channel into a digital public service. For this, the channel seeks to turn to streaming and social media, diversify its income and streamline its internal processes.

Channel 4 claims that its digital products accounted for 27% of its digital revenues. By 2024, it aims to have this figure at 30%, and by 2025, it aims to reach 50%.