Warner Bros. Entertainment could eliminate as many as 1,000 jobs — more than 10 percent of its worldwide workforce — as part of studio-wide cutbacks confirmed earlier this month, Variety reports. However, the studio insists that although the cuts will be “substantial,” it hasn’t settled on the exact number of layoffs.
“The plans are still in process,” Dee Dee Myers, Warner Bros.’ new executive vice president of corporate communications, told TheWrap. “We’re reducing costs and it will result in reduced overhead, but the plans are not done.”
Those plans, part of a long-term growth strategy devised more than a year ago but apparently accelerated by Rupert Murdoch’s rejected $80 billion bid last month for Time Warner, call for each division to decide how to reduce costs in order to meet an undisclosed budget figure. That means that, in the end, the layoffs could be a little lower that current expectations.
As Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced Sept. 4, those cuts will take place at every level across the studio, whose subsidiaries include DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Home Video and New Line Cinema. It also co-owns The CW with CBS Corporation.
The popular belief appears to be that DC may be spared layoffs by simply not filling some of the positions left vacant when it completes the move from New York City to Burbank, California, in the spring. However, there’s been no confirmation of that.
Citing “inside sources,” Variety contends Warner Bros.’ film and television production units will be least affected by the cutbacks, while home entertainment, marketing, distribution, administration and “other non-production related divisions” will be hit the hardest.
Fellow Time Warner division Turner Broadcasting, which includes Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, CNN and TNT, began offering buyouts last month to between 500 and 600 of its U.S. workforce. The Warner Bros. layoffs are expected to come in late October or early November.
The studio’s last major round of layoffs came in 2009, when 800 jobs were eliminated.
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