Carlton has cast doubt over a potential merger with Granada after
posting a dramatic fall in profits this week.
The company has axed 300 staff and will make a further 100 redundant
following the pre-tax loss of £409 million. A 12.7 per cent drop
in its ad income and spend on digital projects contributed to the
Gerry Murphy, the chief executive of Carlton, said a merger was one of a
number of possible outcomes for Carlton, and said it was not a clear
strategy upon which he could build. He would not comment on rumours that
Carlton had held takeover talks with Channel 5's owner, RTL.
Murphy said the financial losses would impact on ITV Digital and added
that 250 staff will lose their jobs as Carlton and Granada attempt to
cut costs on the venture. About £100 million will be cut from its
budget, but Carlton has pledged to spend a further £180 million
before its break even target in two years' time.
- Media Forum, p12.