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Five posts 21m loss

CHANNEL Five posted a &pound;20.8m loss in 2008, as the advertising downturn and the cost of servicing debt hit the terrestrial broadcaster.<br /><br />The RTL-owned firm made revenues of &pound;344.4m in the 12 months to December, but costs dragged it to a &pound;9.1m pre-tax loss. An additional &pound;11.6m charge for &ldquo;unused tax losses&rdquo; exacerbating the Neighbours broadcaster&rsquo;s woes. The post-tax &pound;20.8m loss was significantly larger than the &pound;4.9m loss of the previous year.<br /><br />Five&rsquo;s chair and chief executive Dawn Airey &ndash; whose salary was not disclosed in records filed at Companies House &ndash; has led a cost-cutting drive which has seen a quarter of the broadcaster&rsquo;s 290 staff laid off.<br /><br />Looking ahead, the firm said it would commission new content to increase audience numbers. <br /><br />Like competitors ITV and Channel 4, Five has struggled against plunging advertising revenues and change within the industry as viewers fragment across a range of media.<br />