Warner Bros. Offers Buyouts to Employees, Layoffs Possible

Warner Bros. is offering buyouts to an unspecified number of employees across all divisions in an effort to cut costs.

The studio’s new corporate communications chief Dee Dee Myers, whose first day on the job was Tuesday, had no comment about the move, first reported by Bloomberg News.

Studio parent Time Warner is under pressure from Wall Street to reduce costs in the wake of turning down Rupert Murdoch’s $80 billion takeover bid. The stock, which had jumped after the offer was unveiled on July 16,  plummeted following the Aug. 5 withdrawal by Murdoch.

Time Warner’s  Turner division, which includes CNN and TBS, began offering buyouts to between 500 and 600 of its U.S. employees last month.

Warner Bros. has been headed by chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara for the past year and a half.

Warner Bros. operating profit gained 29% to $234 million in the second quarter due to increases in home entertainment and TV. Revenue declined 2.4% to $2.87 billion due to a decline in movie performance.

Warner Bros.’ share of the domestic box office is $1.06 billion, with about 15% of the market and in third place behind Fox and Disney. That’s far short of the pace of 2013, when it led the box office with $1.86 billion.

 

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