The media and entertainment industry’s reckoning will continue into 2024 with more layoffs as rising costs and debt-laden balance sheets continue to weigh on the beleaguered sector.
Here’s what major media and entertainment companies have in mind when it comes to layoffs in 2024:
As M&A rumors swirl about the future of Paramount Global (PARA), CEO Bob Bakish announced layoffs in an internal memo obtained by Yahoo Finance on Thursday.
The executive cited the need to “operate like a more agile company and spend less.”
“As has been the case in recent years, this means we will continue to reduce our workforce globally. These decisions are never easy, but they are essential on our path to profit growth,” the memo reads.
Not even tech giant Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) has been immune to layoffs.
Last week, the company laid off 100 YouTube employees from its creator management and operations divisions, a spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo Finance, its first corporate restructuring in a decade. YouTube has 7,173 employees worldwide.
Workforce reduction comes after Alphabet cuts thousands of jobs in its engineering, hardware and advertising teams in an effort to reduce staff.
United Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG), one of the industry’s most prominent record labels, plans to lay off hundreds of employees later this quarter, according to Bloomberg.
While UMG did not fully confirm the report, a spokesperson hinted at the cuts in a company statement provided to Yahoo Finance: “We are creating efficiencies in other areas of the business so we can remain agile and responsive to the dynamic market, while also We realize the benefits of our scale.”
Disney’s animation unit (DIS) will reportedly lay off up to 20% of its 1,300 employees, according to TechCrunch. The cuts come as streaming profitability is lagging and the company’s box office has struggled.
Disney did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for confirmation of the report.
The online publication, a subsidiary of the German publishing house Axel Springer SE, said Thursday that it will cut “about 8%” of its staff, a recent trend that has spread to major news organizations across the country. (See Los Angeles Times below.)
“We closed last year with a plan in place, a clear target audience, and a vision,” CEO Barbara Peng wrote in Business Insider. a memo to the staff. “This year is about making it happen and focusing our company and our efforts toward this future. Unfortunately, this also means that we need to downsize some areas of our organization.”
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times Announced widespread layoffs Tuesday that eliminated the jobs of at least 115 staff members, or about 20% of its newsroom.
The staff reduction was the largest in the newspaper’s 142-year history, according to the Times.
The newspaper’s owner, Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, said the cuts were necessary to offset the loss of up to $40 million a year due to a bleak advertising environment.
One of the most famous sports publications laid off most (or possibly all) of its staff last week after its publisher, Arena Group Holdings, had its license to operate the publication revoked.
Arena Group failed to make a $3.8 million quarterly licensing payment to Authentic Brands Group, which has owned the magazine since 2019. Authentic Brands Group sold publishing rights to Arena Group in a 10-year deal that same year.
Read more here.