Broadcaster TVB, hit by unrest in Hong Kong, to lay off 350 employees

TVB shares fell 1 per cent in Hong Kong trading on Dec 16, bringing their decline this year to 20 per cent. PHOTOS: TVB/FACEBOOK

It is not a merry Christmas for many TVB workers in Hong Kong.

According to Dimsum Daily, the Hong Kong broadcaster is laying off 350 employees - or 10 per cent of its staff strength, excluding artists.

The cuts come from departments handling production and maintenance, for example.

TVB is another casualty of the current unrest in Hong Kong that has forced businesses to rein in costs because of decreased customer spending and lower tourist arrivals.

In a note sent to staff on Monday (Dec 16), TVB group chief executive Mark Lee Po-on shut down talk that the company would sack some 1,000 employees.

But he noted that it is difficult to forecast when social order and the economy will regain their footing in Hong Kong.

Given the uncertainties, he added that companies have to take appropriate measures to ensure their survival.

TVB intends to look for more business opportunities in mainland China in a bid to broaden its revenue stream.

Morale at the broadcaster is also said to have taken a beating from a jostling for power among the top executives, with artist welfare affected.

Pundits think that some artists are at risk of being sidelined if their "godfathers" in the station lose out in the power struggle.

According to the asianenews portal, veteran artist Liza Wang, 72, has already given her feedback to the station, urging it to cherish every talent so that it will not be hit by a wave of artist resignations.

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