Disney Is Planning Layoffs at ABC to Cut Costs
Walt Disney Co. is preparing a series of layoffs as part of broader budget cuts across the company.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the majority of the cuts will take place at the ABC broadcast network, its television production studio, ABC News, and local television stations. Of its 10,000 employees, the Disney/ABC TV Group may be cutting as many as 300 positions.
The cuts, which will also include a restructuring, will represent 10% of the company’s annual costs, and may begin as soon as the end of September. Ben Sherwood, president of the Disney/ABC TV Group, is expected to present Disney CEO Robert Iger with details of the plan “in the coming weeks.”
With developments such as ABC’s hugely successful producer Shonda Rhimes leaving for Netflix earlier this month, and these planned budget cuts, Variety reports that it will “revive rumors” that Disney doesn’t see ABC as “one of its long-term core brands.” However, the publication also notes that ABC has recently made huge investments in “talent and content,” including recruiting Katy Perry to serve as a judge on American Idol.
The layoff news comes as the Disney Channel, cable network Freeform, and ABC have all suffered declines in ratings. The Wall Street Journal says that ABC finished third in viewers last season, behind CBS and NBC. Revenue is also down for Disney’s broadcasting division.
Fortune asked Disney for comment on the report of layoffs and will update this story with any new information.