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Ten Axes Staff, Saves $18m

Ten Network Holdings has slashed staff numbers by 12 per cent and found annual savings of about $18 million as part of a wide-ranging review to cut costs that it flagged earlier in the year under new boss Lachlan Murdoch.

Despite inflationary pressures and significant contractual increases in program costs this financial year, television costs would be no higher than those in 2010/2011, Ten said on Monday.

The television broadcaster will release its financial results on October 20 for the year ended August 31.

It said on Monday it expected full year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of about $171 million.

Murdoch, the interim chief executive and 9 per cent shareholder, slammed the financial performance of the network last year when he bought into the Ten share register.

Murdoch and fellow billionaires James Packer and Gina Rinehart are also major shareholders.

Ten, the third-highest rated commercial free-to-air network, in April posted a 15.6 per cent fall in the first half net profit to $49.5 million, which Murdoch criticised as "unacceptable".

The network reported after the close of share trading that it would book $46.1 million in one-off charges resulting from redundancy costs, restructuring charges and program write-offs, as part of the strategic review that was first flagged in February.

Murdoch said in a statement that reducing and tightening the cost base of Ten had been a key focus, with savings earmarked for new programs.

Ten's all-digital poorly rating sports channel, One, has already been revamped to include more general entertainment.

The network's news division has been the focus of much of the cuts after its beefed-up two and a half hours of news and current affairs failed to deliver strong ratings.

"Programming across the network's three channels will be a direct beneficiary of the strategic review, with more than $50 million re-invested in programming content for the coming year," Murdoch said in the statement.

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