Channel 10 breaks silence on top executives ‘secret trip’ to US headquarters after staff fear job cuts are imminent
A ‘secret trip’ to the United States raised fears of layoffs at Channel 10 after two top executives were invited to the parent company’s headquarters, but the channel insists there is nothing to worry about with staff.
Ten’s former head of news, Ross Dagan, who is now the head of news operations at US media giant CBS, a subsidiary of Paramount Global, has called in his successor, Martin White, and the head of digital news and strategy. de Ten, Rashell Habib, to meet at CBS headquarters in New York City last week.
The visit ‘has been the subject of much intrigue’ among Ten staff, reports the aussiePress journal of .
While there has been speculation that the meeting was to discuss job cuts in Australia, which the network strongly denies, it is understood that the main reason for the trip was to brainstorm more ways for CBS and Ten to share resources.
Mr. Dagan is ‘interested’ in finding ways for the US and Australian media to collaborate in the future, such as joint ventures on big international stories.
A ‘secret trip’ to the United States raised fears of layoffs at Channel 10 after two top executives were invited to the parent company’s headquarters, but the channel insists there is nothing to worry about with staff. (Pictured: A view of Ten’s Sydney headquarters on March 11)
The visit has “been the subject of much intrigue” among Ten’s staff. (Pictured: The Project co-hosts Waleed Aly, left, and Sarah Harris, right)
“It was a positive trip that focused on collaborations between CBS and 10 News First,” a Ten spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday.
‘There was nothing secret about Martin and Rashell’s trip; everyone knew they were going abroad and was excited for them,” they added.
“They were strengthening our networks and developing key stakeholder relationships across the global business, and also working with our international colleagues to share knowledge and experience, explore new technologies and maximize emerging trends for digital content.
“The trip was in no way related to the job cuts.”
Former Ten news chief Ross Dagan, now head of news operations at US media giant CBS, a subsidiary of Paramount Global, called in his successor Martin White and Ten’s head of digital news and strategy, Rashell Habib, for meetings at CBS headquarters in New York (pictured)
It comes a month after Channel 10’s parent company, US media giant Paramount Global, denied rumors that it was considering shutting down the network.
Paramount President and CEO of International Markets Pam Kaufman said The Sydney Morning Herald on February 27 there were no plans to close Ten.
‘Of course not. Not only are we not closing, but we are excited and we are investing,” Ms. Kaufman said.
“This is a market where our strategy is strong and it’s really working.”
Paramount Global, formerly known as ViacomCBS, paid $250 million for the Australian television station just five years ago.
Ten’s sources were ‘uncompromising’ that the summit was not about job cuts in Australia. (Pictured: I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! co-hosts Dr. Chris Brown, left, and Julia Morris, right)
The Australian was the first to report the possibility of a sale, citing sources who said Paramount expected to sell 10 in the next two years.
Channel 10 was bought by ViacomCBS in 2017.
The conglomerate, whose diverse interests include movies, book publishing and amusement parks, changed its name to Paramount Global in February of last year.
Paramount recently fired several local executives, including the head of its broadcast division.
Vice President of Broadcasting Liz Baldwin, Vice President of Operations Frank Filosi and at least seven other senior employees were fired.
The layoffs were part of a move toward a more global approach to streaming content, reports the Australian Financial Review.
Ten’s chief content officer, Beverley McGarvey, will become Australia head of Paramount+, while commercial director Jarrod Villani will become Australia’s regional lead.