back to article ITV to sell Friends Reunited, axe 600 jobs

Broadcaster ITV is slashing 600 jobs and looking to sell its Friends Reunited and Scoot websites after reporting a net loss of £2.55bn last year. “Current conditions in the advertising market are the most challenging I have experienced in over 30 years in UK broadcasting,” said chairman Michael Grade. “This is reflected both …


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  1. The Mighty Spang
    Dead Vulture

    shame for the workers but

    ITV should close. it only makes crap. Just turning it on knocks 20 points off your IQ

  2. Mike

    Since it's already at rock bottom.. least the quality of their football coverage can't get any worse.

  3. Chris Miller


    You could always take the radical approach of producing some decent output instead of the usual utter shite.

  4. Stef
    Paris Hilton


    No mention of the crap programs they package as entertainment?

    The only time I subject myself to that channel is for TV Burp and Saturday Night Takeaway. The rest is piffle.

    Paris, because her show is the perfect example of the utter dross on ITV these days.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Ant and Dec

    ITV could produce a program where Ant and Dec are put in a room with the worlds deadliest snakes etc.

    I would tune in for the pilot episode, with any luck there would be no need for the series to then be made.

  6. bothwell

    They're going to *sell* it?

    Who the hell is gonna buy it?

  7. Charlie Barnes
    Paris Hilton

    Contradiction in terms

    "The only time I subject myself to that channel is for TV Burp and Saturday Night Takeaway. The rest is piffle."

    Paris, because her show is the perfect example of the utter dross on ITV these days along with TV Burp and Saturday Night Takeaway.

  8. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    ITV's problem....

    Is that the BBC is better at turning out populist shite than they are.

  9. andy
    Gates Horns

    Friends Reunited?

    One of the most redundant sites on the entire Interweb since Facebook et al came along.

    They only realised charging people to get in touch with people they hadn't bothered to keep in touch with from school didn't work... not that long ago.

  10. Yorkshirepudding

    Glory daze

    maybe its my rose tinted specs but they seemed to produce better quality in the 80s and the 90s saturday morning TV anyone?

    and why cut them at yorkshire TV us chuffing northerners suffer again

  11. Steven Jones


    The whole ITV business model is doomed. Free-to-air financed by advertising with an effective monopoly was all very well in the days before multi-channel, the Internet. It was the huge sums of money from that which financed programs like The World at War and Brideshead Revisited (and no, they were not originally BBC programs, whatever some twits on the Internet think).

    However, in the days of media fragmentation (which includes the Internet) and PVRs so the audience can skip over the ads, then that model is increasingly broken. They can't afford to make really high quality programs any more as there isn't the audience to attract the advertisers (who also realise people are skipping the ads anyway). The UK audience base isn't really big enough to justify the type of commercial production and resale that the Americans can manage.

    In the UK, only the BBC, protected by revenue from a tax on receiving equipment is able to fund the production of high quality content.

    This has been a long, slow decline and it will continue, only accelerated by the current downturn. Expect more cheaply made programs, and more which can be financed by phone-in revenues. C4 & C5 are going to be hit the same way. ITV's golden age of the 70s & 80s are long gone, and ITV was outflanked by Murdock and his evil empire.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "Ant" and "Dec"

    Could this be the end of the "cheeky" twats? Christ I hope so.

  13. Stef
    Thumb Down

    @ Charlie Barnes

    "Paris, because her show is the perfect example of the utter dross on ITV these days along with TV Burp and Saturday Night Takeaway."

    No, you made a mistake there. You accidentally added the only two watchable shows on the channel into your Paris comment.

    TV Burp does an excellent job at mocking the utter shite on TV, and Takeaway is a harmless exercise in Z-list celebrity spotting "Who the hell is she?" is our common response to the introduction of a 'celebrity' on the show.

  14. W

    @ Charlie Barnes

    Stef is correct. TV Burp is a world away from the rest of ITVs piffle and dross.

    That is all.

  15. Trevor

    Saturday night twataway?

    sorry Stef, Saturday night takeaway is utter rubbish.

    However my kids love TV Burp and You've been Framed, but they are both under 5.

    Kind of says something about ITV's audience don't you think? :-P

  16. Dave Bell

    Stop Buying Rubbish "New Media"

    They had the same problem when they bought On-Digital and tried to sell sport.

    What idiotic purchase will they make next?

  17. Graham Marsden

    I wonder...

    ... if all those "Get rid of the BBC's Licence Fee"-Tards are still going to be suggesting that paying for the BBC through advertising is a good idea...?

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Back in the day

    World in Action was an internationally renowned documentary series. The consumerist "tonight" hasn't got a candle on it.

    Same with ITV news. ITN run C4 news, so they have shown that can do it properly, but ITV news just seems to be tabloid trivial celeb nonsense and sensationalism with a bit of real world doom and gloom thrown in bite size chunks.

    TV Burp is fantastic, well said Stef. The surrealist comedy of Harry Hill on a mainstream channel mocking the stream of soaps. OK he's not quite Charlie Brooker, but he is randomly comical.

    ITV these days is phone-in vote celeb and low brow nonsense.

    Thank goodness though that they lost the F1 to the beeb, though annoyed that they are going to axe the local motorsport and rallying programme. Hopefully though they'll get rid of the local weatherman with his obscure "weather watcher" town riddles. (A prohibition on horse feed == Strabane wtf?)

  19. Martin Silver badge

    They don't understanfd web 2.0!

    > Paid £120M .. six months to June last year the website pulled in revenues of £10m,

    > down £1m on the same a period in 2007.

    So they paid £120M for a business that was making £22M a year and is now making £20M/year = a 15% return, and this is the bit they are getting rid of ?

    That seems to make a lot more sense than Google/MS buying a non-profit making/no-ads social networking site for $umpteen-billion.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If ITV goes tits-up...

    then what will the BBC use to compete with during it's current dumbing-down process?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A good thing happened.....

    ....ITV lost the franchise for F1 grand prix racing. It was a right royal pain in the defacating device to be watching grown men go round and round a bendy track waiting for the moment of excitement when they dived into the pits to ...... trigger the adverts.

    I never did understand the ITV model of trying to fit adverts into grand prix races. Surely they could have had the addies running throughout the race in some sort of split screen arrangement? Like addies in the bottom half of the screen or something? Or maybe have some sort of digital subscription where you could pay money to do away with the addies altogether?

    And what will I do without FRU? Same as last week and the week before that I expect.

    Re: Paris because although I'm not sure about her being a friend, I sure as heck would like to get united!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The smallest shock since people wised up to AOL and DSG

    ITV have been churning out shite for years now. When we were in the economic good times they gave us Celebrity Wrestling and that thing with Philip Schofield that got pulled after just one episode. Now the recession has come so what do they expect? They should have been putting things right years ago but the just sat there and did nothing. I thought when Michael Grade jumped ship it was a sign that the corner was turning, but he's done nowt either. He gave a big talk about having zero tolerance over waste and scandal, but the moment the beloved Ant & Dec were caught out he swallowed his words.

    I wonder how much is down to ITV management simply losing the plot, and how much is down to Sky buying a chunk of them and deliberately using their influence to ruin the channel so that Sky benefitted?

    ITV used to be regarded by the average Brit as a major network that rivalled the BBC, while Channel 4 and 5 were minority channels for the more niche shows. Now I think people see ITV as more on par with Freeview channels like Virgin One, Dave and Sky Three than BBC1.

    The only time they do well now is when they show a Simon Cowell show or that jungle thing, but that accounts for an hour per week for a few weeks of the year, hardly enough to sustain an entire 24-hour network.

    And while the other ITV channels can be good in small doses, they're hardly going to upstage the BBC with them by showing old repeats of 70s cop shows and cheesy sci-fi/fantasy shows where the aliens all wear rayon flares without irony.

    My worry is that ITV will go cap in hand to the government and beg them to force the BBC to make more tripe of their own so that ITV has a chance to compete.

    Paris, because her new ITV show fits right in with whatever else they're showing these days...

  23. OrsonX

    Friends Reunited

    I'll buy it for £1, wait, 50p...

  24. Llanfair

    The problem with ITV

    is that they only have one good programme: TV Burp. They just love putting soaps on their channels, rubbish like Loose Women and Jeremy Kyle. Also, what is the point of all these ITV channels on Freeview? They need to start ditching some to save money.

  25. Warhelmet

    Orson X

    "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

    Scoot? ouch.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bid

    a rolo and a pack of smarties (purple ones removed, I love the taste of crushed beetle in the morn').

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cost cutting idea

    If they really want to save money, why not get rid of ITV 2, ITV 2+1, ITV 3 etc. and just have one ITV channel?

    I blame the Tories for this anyway, if they hadn't allowed meja companies to buy up each other we would still have quality regional broadcasting. If a franchise owner wasn't keeping up with the standard required they would loose out to another bidder at the next renewal date.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does anyone else think ITV's best chance here is to bring back Quizmania with such lovely presenters as Debbie King and Greggles? I'm sure if they put that on ITV1 in a primtime evening slot they'd slaughter Doctor Who and anything else the BBC could come up with. And it would make lots of money.

    It's truely is criminal that the excelent Brian Dowling and the other one whose name I forget now haven't been back on ITV since The Mint finished.

    PS. Didn't Jayne Sharp age! She looked so youthful in Wudya Cudya back in the golden age of ITV but now she's like Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous. Know what I mean?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sir Wiggum

    A prohibition on horse feed = Strabane

    Straw-ban, geddit?

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