The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), swissinfo’s parent company, announced on Thursday a series of belt-tightening measures, including the elimination of 250 full-time positions over the next four years.
The SBC is initiating a four-year savings and redeployment programme aimed at saving CHF100 million ($100 million), which will be re-invested across its various business and language units.
The announcement comes less than four months after the 71.6% rejection of a people's initiative, which sought to scrap the licence fee for public broadcasting in Switzerland.
These measures aim to offset the Swiss government’s decision to reduce and cap SBC’s share of the licence fee as well as a decline in advertising revenue. The company says that increased efficiency and a reduction in property costs, coupled with the savings programme, will help minimize the impact on its radio, TV and digital offerings. But job cuts are inevitable, and will be implemented from 2019.
At the same time, SBC said CHF20 million of the CH100 million saved will be reinvested in its cultural programming, in particular Swiss TV and cinema fiction, created with external partners. Money will also be reinvested in an interactive online platform, which will offer simplified access to translated or subtitled SBC content in different languages.
The broadcaster says the savings will be split between its various units and regions: CHF20 million for SRF covering German-speaking Switzerland, CHF15 million for RTS in the French-speaking region, CHF10 million for RSI in the Italian-speaking region, CHF1 million for RTR for Romansh speakers and CHF1 million for SWI swissinfo.ch. It hopes to also save CHF15 million from its Directorate General headquarters and an additional CHF40 million via infrastructure and distribution cuts.end of infobox