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Turner Broadcasting to cut 10% of staff

Turner Broadcasting to cut 10% of staff
Jeff Bewkes is chairman and CEO of Time Warner, the parent company of Turner Broadcasting. (Lionel Cironneau / Associated Press)

Turner Broadcasting System Inc., which runs TV networks including CNN, TBS and TNT, will reduce its workforce by 10%.

The company said Monday that 1,475 positions will be eliminated at all levels among its roughly 14,000 full-time employees around the world.

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Those affected will be notified "over the next two weeks and will be offered severance pay for transition," Turner said in a statement.

"The position eliminations are one component of a comprehensive initiative and company reorganization to focus resources and prioritize investment in programming, monetization and innovation as near- and long-term drivers of growth," Turner said.

In August, Turner said it would offer voluntary buyouts to about 600 U.S.-based employees in the first step of its broader restructuring.

Turner is part of Time Warner Inc., the media company that fended off a takeover attempt by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox this summer. After rejecting the $80-billion bid, the Time Warner signaled that it would make cuts companywide.

Turner's networks have recently been eclipsed by competitors including Fox News Channel and AMC in ratings, while cable channels in general experienced softer-than-anticipated ad sales during the summer advertising sales period.

The reorganization includes buyouts, layoffs and elimination of unfilled headcount, while Turner is adding approximately 150 new positions.

Turner has its largest office in Atlanta, where 5,500 people work, and it has locations in other cities, including Los Angeles, New York and Washington. The company did not say how many Los Angeles-based positions would be cut.

A spokesman declined to comment further.

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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