News


ABC job cuts planned in Disney cost saving drive

Disney StudiosThe Walt Disney Company is looking to cut around 10% of annual costs at its Disney-ABC Television arm, potentially affecting 300 jobs.

The ABC US broadcast network, production arm ABC Studios and ABC News are expected to take the biggest hits, with cable channels ABC News, Freeform and Disney Channel also affected.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, claims as many as 300 jobs are at risk out of Disney-ABC’s 10,000-strong staff.

It is thought plans are still at an early stage, and final decisions on where the axe will fall yet to come.

Disney reps didn’t comment on the report, but TBI understands staff reductions will come through redundancies and attrition.

According to the WSJ, Disney-ABC president Ben Sherwood is behind the cost saving drive, reportedly having promised Disney CEO Bob Iger he could make up to US$300 million in savings.

Disney’s TV division, which houses ABC and ABC Studios, has been revenues fall more than 20% so far this year, though operating income is up.

Disney is also gearing up for the launch of its own globally focused SVOD service, which will launch in 2019 when its movies come off Netflix.

Disney-owned sports cable business ESPN has already made cuts this year. It is also planning a direct-to-consumer service.