Image slices work force

In order to make a profit this fiscal year, Image Entertainment Inc. is trimming its work force and tightening its belt.

The Chatsworth-based company, the nation’s largest laser disc distributor, said it is embarking on a “comprehensive reorganization,” and reducing its headcount by 17%, including several top officers.

The move forces the company to take a one-time charge of approximately $ 5 million to cover severance payments, inventory write-downs and royalty advances.

Image said it expects to report a loss of about $ 9 million on sales of about $ 59 million for the fiscal year ending March 31.

To pare salaries, executives leaving Image include chief financial officer Jerome Smolar, executive VP Lee Casper and senior VP for sales and marketing Wendy Moss.

Cheryl Lee has been upped to chief administrative officer, Jeff Framer will be CFO, David Borshell will head operations and Rick Linton will top sales, marketing.

Joining the board will be Kyle Kirkland, an investment banker.

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