Time Warner Slims Network-TV Operations With Largescale Layoffs

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Time Warner  (TWX)  , which successfully fended off a hostile takeover attempt by 21st Century Fox FOXA, is learning that independence can be a lonely road. Especially for those who just lost their jobs.

The owner of HBO and CNN plans to offer buyouts to 500 to 600 employees at its Turner cable division in a move aimed at restructuring its operations, i.e., making it smaller. The unit, which includes cable news network CNN, has been suffering lower ratings and higher programming costs. Turner currently employs 14,000 across its networks which, in addition to CNN, includes TNT, Cartoon Network and HLN.

In an employee memo, and first reported by The Wrap, Turner CEO John Martin wrote, "Division leaders now are reviewing the working groups' reports on their respective areas of oversight... Over the coming weeks, they will work with me to finalize the organizational changes we will implement."

Should buyouts not be taken voluntarily, layoffs will follow with the bulk focused on HLN and CNN. The latter property was recently valued at $5 billion after 21st Century Fox  (FOXA) assessed its sale to avoid antitrust issues in bid for Time Warner. Its bid was later withdrawn.

A spokesperson for Time Warner declined to comment on the report.

--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.

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