Channel 4 to trim PR department in cost-cutting push

Channel 4 is to lose six posts from its PR team as part of a cost-cutting restructure.

Head of PR Matt Baker has confirmed his team is facing cuts of between 15 and 20 per cent in its budget, which amount to a head-count loss of around six.

A final decision on which staff will lose their jobs from the 37-strong team will be made at the end of the year, following a 90-day consultation process which started last week. The channel is set to lose around 200 jobs in total.

Baker said: 'At the end of that period some may be deployed elsewhere and some will unfortunately be made redundant. We are a people focused part of the business so when resources have to be cut that means people.'

He added that the cost cutting would not have a similar effect on plans to take on agency support for projects next year.

The changes to PR are part of a major restructure for the channel as CEO Mark Thompson attempts to reduce overheads for next year by a third and to help fund a 7.5 per cent increase in the 2003 programming budget to £430m.

The restructured PR team will form part of a newly created division headed by marketing director Polly Cochrane.

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