Bloomberg News

Disney Eliminates Film Studio Jobs After Cost-Cutting Review

April 10, 2013

Walt Disney Co. (DIS:US), the world’s largest entertainment company, cut 150 jobs from its film studio as part of a cost review, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The firings amount to about 2 percent of the unit’s 7,000 jobs, said the person, who sought anonymity because the number isn’t being publicly announced. Burbank, California-based Disney announced the action in an e-mailed statement today.

The firings took place across various studio operations (DIS:US). Disney has been releasing fewer films and selling fewer DVDs. The cuts are in addition to those made earlier this year in its interactive businesses, where console-based video games have lost ground to mobile and Facebook games.

“As part of an ongoing review to ensure that the studios’ operational structure and economics align with the demands of the current marketplace, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our staffing levels in several divisions of the studio,” the company said in the statement.

Disney is releasing 10 movies in 2013, down from 38 a decade ago, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. Sales from the home-entertainment unit, part of the film studio, fell 9 percent to $2.22 billion last year, on a 12 percent drop in units, according to the company’s annual report.

The company finished fiscal 2012 with 166,000 employees overall, up 6.4 percent. Disney earned (DIS:US) $5.68 billion on sales of $42.3 billion in the 12 months ended Sept. 29, a second year of record profit.

Other Cuts

Elsewhere in the company, Disney closed its Junction Point Studios video-game operation in Austin, Texas, in January and announced April 3 it was reducing staff at the games unit of recently acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. to focus on licensing.

Revenue from interactive games and subscriptions dropped 20 percent to $613 million in the latest fiscal year, reflecting a 29 percent decrease in games for console-based systems such as Sony Corp.’s PlayStation.

Disney, based in Burbank, California, has been making new all-time highs (DIS:US) in recent days. The stock gained 1.1 percent to $59.80 at 1:04 p.m. in New York and had advanced 19 percent this year as of yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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