(Bloomberg) -- Warner Bros. Discovery plans to close its New Zealand media unit Newshub in the middle of the year, costing jobs and leaving the nation with a single television news service. 

The company has begun consultation on a proposed remodeling and restructure of its free-to-air business in New Zealand, it said in a statement released Wednesday in Wellington. A final decision is expected in early April and if the changes go ahead they would not take effect until after June 30, it said.

The proposal would mean closure of all of Newshub’s news operations and output, which includes television news and a 24-hour news website. Local media say as many as 200 jobs are at risk.

The decision means state-owned Television New Zealand will provide the nation’s only free-to-air news service broadcast on its TV One channel. Warner Bros. will continue to operate its rival TV3 channel with a mix of local programming and acquired content, but said its ThreeNow digital service would become the core of its new model.

“We are acutely aware of our position in the local media landscape and what this means for our people, and for the country as a whole,” said James Gibbons, who is Asia Pacific president for the New York-based company.

He said the local unit has faced a combination of negative events in New Zealand and globally, adding that the impacts of the economic downturn “have been severe, and the bounce back has not materialized as expected.”

In particular, advertising revenue in New Zealand has disappeared far more quickly than anticipated, putting pressure on profitability, he said.

“Everyone can see that the media sector, here in New Zealand, and around the world is facing some very tough circumstances,” Gibbons said. “While Warner Bros. Discovery is a large global media company, each business is managed on its ability to sustain itself within the market it operates in. Subsidizing losses for ongoing years indefinitely is not sustainable.”

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