Current TV laid off 80 workers yesterday and announced it will consolidate its in-house video production in new facilities in Los Angeles. However, production of programs such as “Current Green” and “Current Tech” will remain in San Francisco.
Pink slips went out to workers at Current TV’s offices in London, New York, LA and SF.
Programming President David Neuman also resigned.
The changes occurred three months after the privately held network recruited MTV networks president Mark Rosenthal as CEO. Rosenthal succeeded Joel Z. Hyatt, the Atherton businessman who founded the network with former vice president Al Gore.
Current TV executives emphasized that the layoffs aren’t due to a lack of money, and they claim that this year will be the 5-year-old company’s most profitable year. The network plans to shift away from user-generated content and rely more on traditional 30-minute and 60-minute programming.
The LA Times pointed out that advertisers have shied away from supporting user-generated content online or on TV.
One of Current TV’s problems is that it only reaches 55 million homes, far less than other basic cable channels. To many, Current TV is not known for its programming but for its two reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were captured by North Korea in March and released in August with the help of Bill Clinton.