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Media industry hard hit as jobs lost across the board

LONDON - Following news of around 160 staff cuts at Associated Newspapers, News International and Global Radio, Channel 4 is axing its third-party digital sales house, which will put up to 10 jobs at risk.

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Associated Newspapers has been tipped to shed as many as 60% of the 175 sales staff on the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline in plans to merge the operations.

Other reports claim its Metro freesheet is set to make an unknown number of redundancies in its regional offices with staff working on Metro Life listings going. MediaGuardian reported that Metro has also not replaced a number of staff who have recently left as a way of making further cuts.

Media Week revealed Global Radio is reducing a sales force of 240 by 80 roles as it integrates GCap Media and News International has made 10 redundancies in merging its digital sales teams.

Now staff at Channel 4's third-party digital sales house 4DS have learned they have fallen victim to the broadcaster's plans to reduce its costs by £100m over the next two years and reduce its headcount by 150.

4DS was launched last year and was already merged back into C4's own digital sales operation in the summer.

The decision leaves up 10 staff, who are now in the consultation period, uncertain about their futures.

Clients such as BT, Thomas Cook and FilmOn will have to make new arrangements.

Andy Barnes, sales director at Channel 4, said: "Naturally I am sad to announce the closure of 4DS, which has performed well since its launch.

"Given the exceptionally difficult economic conditions, it is right that we focus efforts on making sure our own assets perform as strongly as possible, rather than concentrating on the performance of third-party websites."

Matt Gower, who headed the launch of 4DS in January 2007, left in the summer to set up his own company.

The losses of jobs at 4DS follows the announcement last month that the broadcaster plans to axe 150 jobs to save £100m over this year and in 2009. Those job losses include positions within Channel 4's scrapped digital radio venture, 4 Digital Group.

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