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Eight fall to WIN change

EIGHT presentation staff in the WA studios of WIN Television have fallen victim to the depressed advertising market and the technological advances of digital television.

Presentation staff are responsible for monitoring the signal from the transmitter to viewers.

The eight staff have been informed their positions are being made redundant from October 6 and that all of WIN’s presentation will be centralised in Wollongong, NSW.

WIN WA general manager Ian McRae said WIN had made some operational changes but denied the staff necessarily would be made redundant.

“We are trying to redeploy the staff through the company, which is why we have made the announcement three months early,” he said.

“The method of our delivery has changed. Going into a

digital environment gives

you much greater flexibility.

“The cost of changing to digital broadcasting is a big issue for the television industry.”

WIN has not been immune from the advertising downturn that has hit most Australian media outlets. Market experts are calling it the worst advertising market of the past two decades.

Part of the push behind the decision is the move by Channel 10, which shares an office with WIN, to centralise its presentation to Sydney.

Eight positions will be made redundant from that move.

Its Perth news bulletins have been presented from the east coast for several years.

Channel 10 Perth general manager Kerry Kingston said the presentation changeover should be completed by August.

“With the conversion to dig-ital everyone is looking to centralise their presentation areas. The cost of recreating parallel presentation set ups around Australia is too prohibitive,” he said.

Channel 7 centralised its presentation work to its Docklands facility in Melbourne around 18 months ago. How-ever, a spokesman for the station said it had no plans to move any other parts of its business to the east coast.

Channel 9 in Perth is the only metropolitan commercial station not looking to relocate its presentation to the east coast. How-ever, it is in an unusual position because it is a station independent of the national Channel 9 network.

Australian television net-works were required by law to begin broadcasting digital signals from the beginning of

2000.

The stations broadcast both digital and analogue signals. The analogue feeds are due to cease in 2008 but that date is subject to review.

The cost of switching across to digital transmission has been put in the hundreds of millions of dollars category for all stations.

The costs for the metropolitan broadcasters have come largely from requirements to refit studios with digital recording equipment.

For the regional stations, many of which had to take Federal Government grants to make the digital changeover, the bulk of the costs have been in the transmission side.

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