ITV puts UK social network Friends Reunited up for sale

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ITV is understood to have put the social networking website Friends Reunited, a site to help you find friends from your old secondary college (and recently expanded into genealogy), as part of its continuing cost cutting move initiated by falling ad revenues from its television channels.

Michael Grade, executive chairman for ITV, is expected to announce the sale when it announces its annual results next month.

It’s efforts to reduce its costs could also see a fresh round of job cuts, and may cut up to 10 percent of its workforce. Analysts also believe that Grade could face either cutting its £1 billion programming budget, or slashing its dividend payout.

Either way, it would be an admission that Grade’s programming-led resurrection of ITV that he promised after joining the company from the BBC three years ago has failed. While Friends Reunited was bought before Grade arrived, the company has not really cross-promoted the site within its network of television channels, and has become isolated within the company.

ITV has recently expanded its main website, ITV.com, by including a video-on-demand website – following the successful BBC’s iPlayer.

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