Deep cost-cutting for a media company

Supported a media organisation to reduce its cost base by over 25%, enabling its successful sale.

Working in an open-book, creative and collaborative way across the business, our work penetrated through resistance and risk of rejection to successfully identify, design and deliver these significant cuts, underpinning a successful future for the company.


Our client had been brought in to this ailing organisation to turn it around in preparation for sale. Their challenge as CEO was enormous, right across proposition, operations, and costs. The backers were impatient. And the staff was not keen on change.

The CEO was ready to provide strong personal leadership to a cost cutting programme that had to both engage and push the organisation further than ever before. They needed external expertise and resources to design and deliver the change. But how would consulting ‘suits’ bring their creatives onside? Involve everyone, we suggested. And the client agreed.


Our initial diagnostic was conducted ‘top down’ and identified the potential to take out over 25% of costs.

Our team then fanned out across the organisation to work ‘bottom up’, harnessing the culture in a spirit of co-creation: each department was tasked with defining how they would reach their targets, designing radical, blank-sheet-of-paper new processes and structures. These were married with the top-down analysis and developed into detailed plans with clear tracking and deliverables. At every step, our consultants worked deftly and unflaggingly to ensure difficult decisions were not ducked, and blockages were freed up.


Initially surprised by the size of the target and then by the openness of the approach, staff got behind the process, and delivered plans that were as robust as they were radical.

The implementation of the cuts was rapid and successful, and proved pivotal to the company’s eventual sale. Under new ownership it has gone on to become one of its sector’s rising stars.