Australia's Seven West Media Cuts 150 Jobs, Cites Weak Ad Market, Deal Fallout with Meta

By Jose Resurreccion

Jun 24, 2024 05:53 AM EDT

Australia's Seven West Media Cuts 150 Jobs, Cites Weak Ad Market, Deal Fallout with Meta
The Channel 7 office is seen October 18, 2006 in Sydney, Australia.
(Photo : Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Seven West Media, one of Australia's top media networks, announced that it would be laying off 150 of its staff due to weak advertising and as a way of preparing for the end of its commercial deal with social media giant Meta.

The cuts were reportedly part of the network's cost-cutting announcement back in February by CEO Jeff Howard, who was then the CFO under his predecessor James Warburton.

A source with direct knowledge about the matter told the Sydney Morning Herald, on the condition of anonymity, that Howard is expected to announce the company-wide cuts by Tuesday (June 25).

Earlier this month, a shakeup was made in Seven's TV news bureaus in several major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide, as well as the exit of some of its senior journalists, including the embattled Seven veteran Robert Ovadia, who was sacked by the network last week for "inappropriate behavior".

Aside from the Seven Network on Australian television, Seven West also owns the Perth-based newspaper The West Australian.

READ NEXT: ABC's Paul Barry to Step Down as Host of 'Media Watch' in December

Company-Wide Job Cuts Due to Meta's Deal Non-Renewal

Last week, Howard told Australian lawmakers in a parliamentary inquiry into social media that the network would need to find cost efficiencies if ever Seven West's contract with Meta would run out this year. 

E&P Capital analyst Entcho Raykovski told the Herald that Seven West would be the hardest hit among the three commercial news outlets, which included Nine Media and News Corp, once the annual $15 million commercial deal with Meta would expire by the end of this week. 

He additionally estimated that Seven's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization) would suffer an 8% decline.

Meanwhile, VCPost reported last month that News Corp begun its purge of middle management in a restructuring scheme after it signed a $250-million deal with artificial intelligence firm OpenAI.

READ MORE: News Corp Australia Begins Restructuring After Signing Deal with OpenAI

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