Warner Bros. is expected to begin layoffs today that will result in the elimination of about 1,000 jobs globally as part of company-wide streamlining effort.
Variety reports that the cuts, which amount to more than 10 percent of the studio's 8,000-person workforce, are anticipated in two waves, with roughly half starting this week. The process will be completed by the end of the year.
CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced last month that the studio aims to reduce costs by $200 million annually, which will be used to fund an ambitious film and television slate that includes at least 10 DC Comics-based films, J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series, and more LEGO offerings. Film and television production divisions are expected to be spared the brunt of the cutbacks, while home entertainment, marketing, distribution, administration and “other non-production related divisions” will be among the hardest hit.
As we’ve noted before, the popular belief is that DC could 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.
Fellow Time Warner division Turner Broadcasting, which includes CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and TNT, will eliminate about 1,475 jobs — again, equal to about 10 percent of its workforce. It was revealed just last week that HBO will lay off about 150 people, nearly 7 percent of its workforce. Time Warner is expected to slash about 2,600 jobs in all.
The belt-tightening is part of a long-term growth strategy devised more than a year ago but apparently accelerated by Rupert Murdoch’s rejected $80 billion bid in August for Time Warner.