Time Warner's HBO to cut 7% of staff

[NEW YORK] Time Warner Inc's pay TV network HBO is preparing to cut 7 per cent of its staff in the United States or about 150 jobs.

HBO employs 2,400 people domestically. Time Warner, under pressure to boost profits after rejecting a takeover bid, has also announced cuts at its other units: cable networks Turner Broadcasting and movie studio Warner Bros.

Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, wrote in memo to staff on Oct 15 obtained by Reuters, "We have a long history of tightly managing our overhead so that we're able to maximise investment in the creation, distribution and marketing of content. "We also shift resources when necessary toward areas with the greatest potential to drive revenue growth and to enhance our brand." Variety first reported the news of job reductions at HBO.

On Oct 15, HBO announced during a Time Warner presentation to investors that it plans to launch a stand-alone online streaming video service next year making hit shows like "Game of Thrones" available to people who do not subscribe to cable TV.

Last year, HBO made almost US$5 billion in revenue, and US$1.7 billion in operating income.

Time Warner is under pressure to boost its stock price after it rejected a bid this summer from Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox of US$85 per share.

Share of Time Warner were up 0.3 per cent at US$79.51 in noon trading on Tuesday.


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