Warner Bros. Entertainment began on Tuesday making staffing cuts that are expected to hit about 10 percent of the company’s employees.
Details of the layoffs at the Burbank studio were scant but are expected to be done across all divisions. Warner Bros. has a global employment of about 8,000 people.
Warner Bros. Chief Executive Kevin Tsujihara sent a memo on Tuesday saying the cuts were “difficult decisions” and not taken lightly.
“We examined every aspect of our businesses to ensure that we were restructuring in a way that would allow us to minimize the impact on our employees, while continuing to adapt to the changing global marketplace,” Tsujihara wrote in the memo.
Most business groups would be making the cuts this week, while others, including finance, information services and technical operations, would make cuts in the first quarter of next year. International offices would make their cuts early next year as well, the memo stated.
Entertainment industry trade publications began reporting in early September that staff reductions were coming. Tsujihara confirmed those reports in a memo, and in October he told investors that $200 million would be cut from the company’s budget.
The layoffs are said to be triggered by pressure to cut costs from Jeff Bewkes, chief executive of parent Time Warner Inc. He has promised investors that the New York company can create more value by remaining independent and efficient.
In July, Time Warner rejected an unsolicited $80 billion acquisition bid from media mogul Rupert Murdoch, an offer that Murdoch formally withdrew in early August.
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