Desmond: Channel 5 getting back in the black

Richard Desmond has claimed to have already restored Channel 5 to profitability.

Desmond, whose Northern & Shell empire has made swingeing staff cuts since buying the broadcaster in July, told Management Today: “The station has revenues of £270m and was losing £34m. We’ve taken exactly the same figure, £34m, of costs out. We’ve saved £10m on staff. Some of the directors were heavily paid and getting high bonuses even though it was making a loss.

“Furthermore, we will have increased advertising income by £80m, so our total revenues will be £350m. We will turn round Channel 5, same as we did with Express Newspapers. It will be quick. We know what needs doing, we know what we want and will we get on with it.”

Desmond also revealed he attempted to add Rupert Murdoch’s Sun and News of the World to his tabloid repertoire: “A year ago, I walked into Rupert Murdoch’s office in New York with £1bn in my pocket. I said I wanted to buy News International for £1bn. Rupert said he didn’t want to sell but he acknowledged it was a good offer.”

(Source: Media Week)

This article appears in issue 264 of Media Digest.

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