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Media pressure Switzerland’s only news agency could lose quarter of staff

ATS office

Restructuration will take place over the next two years to make up for the shortfall in revenues

(Keystone)

The Swiss News Agency has announced that up to 40 jobs of a total of 180 are at risk due to a pressure to lower prices. 

The agency, which was created in 1895, estimates it will face a CHF3.1 million ($3.15 million) drop in turnover in 2018 despite a renewal of contracts with its biggest clients (including the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, swissinfo.ch’s parent company). 

Restructuration will take place over the next two years to make up for the shortfall in revenues. Besides job cuts, employees will also be encouraged to take early retirement or reduce their working hours. Other measures to reduce costs include combining the Swiss and international news branches and getting rid of its inhouse financial news section. 

The Swiss News Agency, known as ATS in French and SDA in German, denied that the job cuts had anything to do with its merger with the photo agency Keystone that was announced last October. The merger has yet to be approved by the competition authorities. 

The media union Impressum isn’t convinced the cuts and the merger are unrelated and called on Swiss News Agency editors, owners and clients to avoid any job losses. 

Swiss to vote on scrapping media licence fee

L’Hebdo, the only weekly French-language current affairs magazine, closed in February due to insufficient advertisement revenues. Tamedia, Switzerland’s biggest private media company, announced in September that its 14 newspapers would soon be produced by only two editorial offices, prompting questions about media diversity.

 

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ac

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