Disney To Eliminate 175 Jobs At ABC Television Group

Disney's Bob Iger

Job cuts the latest in string at Mouse House as company prepares itself for digital change

Walt Disney is preparing to eliminate approximately 175 positions at its Disney/ ABC Television Group, according to a person familiar with the situation, the latest in a string of cutbacks across its operations. Previous trims have taken place at the company’s ESPN and film operations as the Mouse House tries to align its employee roster with the types of of business it expects to do in the months ahead.

The Disney/ABC Television Group encompasses the company’s ABC broadcast network, its owned-and-operated stations, and cable networks including ABC Family and Disney Channel. The layoffs are expected to affect positions among technical operations as well as the unit’s eight local stations, this person said. The stations are located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, the Raleigh- Durham metro area in North Carolina and Fresno.

“As technological advances continue to alter the competitive landscape and viewer habits, it’s incumbent upon us to stay ahead of the curve,” a spokesman for the unit said in a prepared statement. ” To that end, we’ve undergone a review of our organizational structures and processes, and have re-imagined and realigned certain areas and functions to gain efficiencies and better position us for future growth.”

Disney has steadily enacted layoffs at its business units in past months, trimming 400 at ESPN and 300 jobs at LucasArts, Lucasfilm and across Walt Disney Studios. Last fall, the Mouse House laid off more than at its interactive division.  The strategy aims to rid the company of jobs deemed to no longer be as essential, even as Disney  stock has flourished. At ABC, some jobs may be eliminated, but other opportunities could become available that require different skill sets, according to the person familiar with the situation.

SEE ALSO: Layoffs Under Way at Disney

The initiative has borne fruit for the Mouse in the recent past.  Hundreds of people were laid off at ABC News in 2010, but the division has shown new strength, with “Good Morning America” surpassing NBC’s “Today” in the ratings, ABC’s “World News” narrowing the ratings gap with NBC’s “Nightly News” and new business in the forms of both ana an alliance with Yahoo  and a new cable network, Fusion, set to launch backed by both ABC and Univision.

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  1. occultology says:

    It seems that Disney’s greatest creative force is in it’s Accounting Department.

  2. Olden says:

    Sounds like someone is covering their tracks. Millions has been spent on technology at Disney/ABC for years with no return yet those in control retain their positions. It’s all a cover for a corporate initiative to slash costs before their fiscal year ends. The Watch app didn’t event come from the TV group. It came from the Digital group.

  3. Jen says:

    I agree, and sympathise with you Rich…I hope you find a new position soon!

  4. Rich says:

    As being one of the lay offs and knowing our work is being outsource to a company who pays their employees half of what we are getting paid is what corporate America is all about. All work in the USA is being out sourced to companies which pay pennies to their labor force. And I ask why is America’s economy so bad? Well we don’t have to look far when the companys from America are out sourcing all the work out of the country.

  5. Suzanne says:

    For executive search consultants/recruiters, the move makes for talent available.

  6. Books Will Save The Planet says:

    That move has a silver lining for the 175. It allows them to gain the digital juice they’ll need and which Disney will contract outt. Althougha solid B,team, the current crop of Disney digital guru with the ability to muck up the works due to overwork is something to watch
    Good luck folks and if you want to form an Internetional studio with other stellar artist, coders, talent and producers I’ll spin the contact wheel..

  7. Jolene Strawn says:

    Well, Mr Walt Disney would be very proud of you people who are mishandling his wonderful legacy. You all sound like TWC and CBS thank you very much

  8. Steve says:

    Lay-offs at massive corporations are generally surreptitious moves to protect the next quarter’s results and rarely “gain efficiencies and better position us for future growth.” And be clear “growth” isn’t about hiring even more people in the future. “Growth” means paying VPs and above even higher salaries.

  9. EK says:

    An emphasis on better programming across its broadcast outlets will ultimately serve the bottom line better than trying to achieve increased profitability through head count reductions, although technological advances are bound to create some redundancies..Build a better mousetrap for ad dollars and keep your talented workforce intact is a better mantra than shooting the messengers.

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