Warner Bros. Entertainment is set to cut nearly 1,000 jobs worldwide in an effort to cut costs, Variety magazine reported Wednesday, citing senior company officials. The staff reduction will amount to nearly 10 percent of the California-based company’s 9,000-strong global workforce.
The job cuts are expected to take place in October or early November, Variety reported, adding that the studio’s CEO Kevin Tsujihara reportedly sent out an email in September, warning employees of impending layoffs. It was unclear which departments would be affected but company officials reportedly said that the job cuts would occur across various levels of the studio hierarchy. However, the television and film production units are expected to be hurt the least because the company plans to increase its output in these segments.
“Since I became CEO, I’ve been working with the Studio’s senior management team to create a plan to position Warner Bros. for future growth,” Tsujihara told his employees in the email, according to Variety, adding: “This will require us to reduce costs and reallocate resources to our high-growth businesses.”
Dee Dee Myers, Warner Bros.’ new executive vice president of corporate communications, told Variety: “There is no head count target or percentage reduction target,” adding: “This is a budget issue, not a head count issue.”
The last time the studio reduced its headcount was reportedly in 2009 when 800 people lost their jobs. Time Warner, the studio’s parent company, also faces other challenges as investors have asked the company to reduce costs, after Rupert Murdoch’s Twentieth Century Fox decided to pull back its $80 billion bid in August.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes brushed off rumors that the company was planning to hive off HBO as a separate company, Variety reported, citing sources. The company is also reviewing Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN and TBS, and had reportedly offered buyouts to nearly 600 employees last month.
Warner Bros. has had a good run of late, scoring hits on the big screen as well as in television, with series like the “Big Bang Theory,” “Mike & Molly” and “Two and a Half Men.” The studio is also set to launch a Harry Potter spin-off series named “Fantastic Beasts” while its recent box-office hits include “The Lego Movie” and a remake of “Godzilla,” and the company also has other movies lined up, including “Batman v Superman,” “Horrible Bosses 2″ and the third and final “Hobbit.”