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Warner Bros. Cuts 250 to 300 From Studio Payroll

3 Nov, 2005 By: Kurt Indvik

Warner Bros. Entertainment has laid off 250 to 300 employees at its Burbank, Calif., facility, about 5 percent of its staff.

Studio spokesperson Sue Fleishman confirmed there are cuts across the board in all of the studio's divisions, including Warner Home Video, but would not say how many in that unit.

Insiders say layoffs at Warner Home Video could amount to as many as 100 or even more, although that includes future cutbacks in overseas territories. “They're still talking to people,” said one insider who asked not to be identified by name. “The morale around here is — ‘who's it going to be?' The last call I want to get right now is to come down to HR.”

The division's two biggest layoffs, president Jim Cardwell and EVP Marsha King, were announced a week before word broke of the overall studio cuts. The layoffs also affected Warner bros. Pictures, Warner Independent Pictures, and the company's TV, consumer products and corporate operations centers.

The layoffs in Burbank will be followed by cutbacks in the studio's international operations, but Fleishman said the number of layoffs there has not been determined.

Fleishman said that while the company was having an excellent year in film, home video and TV, the cuts are “a way of positioning the company for the future,” she said, as it anticipates a slowdown in growth in certain sectors, which she would not detail.

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