Call it a tale of two media giants. In the wake of the $71.3 billion merger between Disney and 21st Century Fox, Disney began taking steps to lay off 3,000 workers Thursday. Meanwhile, every employee who remained at Fox Corp. will receive a modest stock bonus, according to reports.
Disney yesterday completed its merger with 21st Century Fox, taking ownership of Fox film and TV studios and some networks like FX and National Geographic. Other Fox assets remain inside Fox Corp., including the Fox Broadcasting channel, Fox News, Fox Sports, and a network of TV stations.
According to Variety, Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch held a company-wide meeting and announced that each employee who has been at the company for more than 20 years would receive stock worth $3,000, while those with shorter tenures would receive smaller packages.
“You’re all owners,” Murdoch told employees at the all-hands meeting. “Each and every one of you has a voice and we want it to be heard.”
Many 21st Century Fox workers who were part of the Disney mergers won’t be so lucky. Disney CEO Bob Iger has promised shareholders the merger would bring $2 billion in cost savings. To do that, Disney is planning to lay off 3,000 workers, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Post-merger layoffs have been expected because many of the jobs at the two companies overlap. The bulk of layoffs will likely affect 21st Century Fox staff. Variety said that high-level layoffs have already begun, with several Fox marketing and distribution executives affected by the jobs cuts. Layoffs are expected to hit Fox’s film studio the hardest.
Disney’s stock fell 1.2% Thursday to $108.66 a share. Fox Corp.’s stock declined 0.2% to close at $41.70 a share.