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Private TV station scales back news output, cutting 40 jobs

One of Switzerland's youngest private television stations, TV3, is drastically reducing its news output at the cost of 40 jobs. The last news bulletin was read by Andrea Meier (pictured) on Thursday evening.

This content was published on March 16, 2000 - 08:08

One of Switzerland's youngest private television stations, TV3, is drastically reducing its news output at the cost of 40 jobs.

TV3, which went on air last September, says it is scrapping its main news and current affairs programme because of a lack of public interest. The last bulletin was read by Andrea Meier (pictured) on Thursday evening.

Despite scoring high with viewers for series like "Robinson" featuring a real-life travel-adventure, and its large number of game shows, TV3 says its brand of news has been more of a damp squib, reaching an average of just 26,000 viewers of the seven o'clock news show.

Raymond Lüdi, the editor of the broadcast industry newspaper, Media Trend Journal, says TV3, like similar private channels such as Tele24 and RTL/Pro 7, are not able to compete with the publicly-funded Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

Lüdi points out it is not a level playing field. "One can say it is to some extent unfair that the public broadcaster has the fees and the private broadcasters only have advertising income. That should be a matter of discussion under the new television and radio law, which is going to be established in three or four years."

He says TV3, which adopted the concept of news as 'infotainment,' could not change the viewing habits of the Swiss public, and woo them away from the main news programmes of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

Under Jürg Wildberger as head of the station, TV3 has cornered around ten per cent of the market, giving it the second largest viewing public behind the German-language channel of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, DRS.

swissinfo and agencies

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