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Home BUSINESSYle further reveals plan to downsize
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Sun, 23 Oct, 2016 12:01:10 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, Oct 23

National broadcasting company Yle this week has further elaborated its plan to reduce the number of its staff members and to downsize its production.

According to the plan, the broadcaster will cut its technical production staff by a third and some 160 employees will lose their jobs.

Last week the company said it planned to decrease the number of its national TV channels from four to three and use more internet distribution.

The recent plan followed recommendations by an all-party parliamentary task force in June advising that the public media house should increase outsourcing.

The parliamentary recommendations wanted to partially divert Yle resources to help ailing TV production companies.

Yle CEO Lauri Kivinen said its in-house production must be reduced according to the major requirement to purchase from outside. Kivinen said Yle has "always during its history done" what the society wants, and "now it wants outsourcing."

Until 2013, Yle was funded through British-style TV usage fees from set owners. The fees were later replaced with a special Yle tax of maximum 143 euros per tax payer and not per household.

Commenting to Xinhua on Saturday, researcher Marko Ala-Fossi of Tampere University said that with the old system, Yle would have to take into account possible reactions from the viewers who do not pay if some outsourced programs do not please them. But with the Yle tax, such risks do not exist as the tax is levied without regard to actual consumption of Yle services, Ala-Fossi said.

The parliamentary task force also asked Yle to become a customer of the financially troubled Finnish news agency STT. Yle gave up the membership years ago.

Ala-Fossi told Xinhua that Yle news gathering had worked well without STT and the would-be new system would only mean financial support to STT.

The 2016 budget for Yle is 477 million euros. Yle employs 3,000 people in Helsinki and regional centers.

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