NewsCorp has ruled out layoffs in response to the continuing advertising downturn.

Since imposing a hiring freeze last October, the media giant has seen its workforce fall by around 1,000 through attrition, with three hundred leaving due to the closure of the Fox internet unit.

Ad woes have already claimed thousands of jobs at Walt Disney Company and AOL Time Warner [WAMN: 28-Mar-01]. “I don’t see us doing that,” said NewsCorp chief operating officer Peter Chernin. “Laying off people is a costly way [to reduce spending].”

Chernin added that the ad market seems to have hit bottom: “It has firmed up a little bit in the last two months or so. Overall, advertising remains a challenge but our operating performance has been strong.”

NewsCorp will today unveil earnings for its fiscal Q4. Income at its Fox Entertainment Group has been hurt by the weak ad market in its cable network and broadcast TV units.

News source: Financial Times