Fox Buyout Offers Accepted By Up to 400 Employees (EXCLUSIVE)

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Courtesy of 21st century fox

Between 300 and 400 film and television staffers have taken voluntary buyouts at 21st Century Fox, Variety has learned.

That represents roughly half of the employees who were given the option of taking the package, according to insiders. Fox initiated the buyout program as part of a company-wide effort to cut $250 million from its budget. Fox currently has no plans for layoffs.   The company believes it can potentially lower expenses in other ways beyond staffing reductions.

Various division heads will now look at their departments to see if the work of the employees who are leaving can be reassigned or will require new hires. Some functions may be combined.

Fox has approximately 20,000 employees globally. Most of the buyouts took place at the company’s domestic operations, with the bulk of those coming from its Los Angeles offices.

Last February, Fox sent out proposals to roughly all staffers who had logged at least 15 years at the media conglomerate. Staffers who took the buyout received a month’s pay for each year they worked.

Consumer products chief Jeffrey Godsick, Fox Searchlight production chief Claudia Lewis and Fox Broadcasting marketing EVP Laurel Bernard are among the senior executives who opted to take buyouts.

When it announced the buyouts, Fox said the cost savings would help the organization be more “agile and structured to fully capture the many opportunities ahead of us.” Media companies are facing challenges from digital players such as Netflix and Amazon, whose wealth of online content is encouraging consumers to stream shows. That, in turn, creates headaches for businesses that earn the bulk of their profits from ad revenue and ticket sales.

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  1. Johnny says:

    This comes across as a relatively civil thing for Fox to do. The fact that they are cutting costs with voluntary buyouts instead of simply laying people off puts them at the top of the pack ethically. I saw from the inside of another major studio some brutal and vicious layoffs–suddenly sending home entire teams to hundreds of people without warning. Inside a different major studio, I sat in a meeting while an executive openly bragged about outsourcing domestic departments. Most of this goes unreported in media because, cough, they are the media.

    Kudos to Fox for trying to treat their employees humanely. I will most likely apply for a position there now.

  2. RTF372 says:

    I suppose a good way to compete with Silicon Valley is to get rid of all the people who actually put together your product.

  3. Spike says:

    oh. the dinosaurs are seeing their empire disappears, eh? no tears here. if they were creating socially valuable content, they wouldn’t have this problem. but the greenlight bozos only think in terms of dollars and cents. that immediately dooms them.

    • Dunstan says:

      Spike, what on earth are you talking about?

      I don’t work for Fox; never have. But your bizarre attitude does a disservice to all the people behind the scenes who show up, do their jobs, support their families and try to live their lives.

      “Socially valuable content?” “Only think in terms of dollars and cents?”

      There’s a reason it’s called Show BUSINESS. It’s not a charity. It didn’t start as one and that will never be its main goal. Has lots of money been raised by people in the business? Damn right.

      A studio is there to make money throughout its various divisions. Fox apparently thinks it can do so without these several hundred employees. Time will tell. But I’m betting they still wish they had the relative security of those jobs.

      • RTF372 says:

        Evidently he doesn’t realize that the “socially valuable content” that will replace Hollywood is Youtube.

    • Not Easily Entertained... says:

      Pretty much. Network development is in the beginning of the final stages of terminal cancer.

      • RTF372 says:

        I think the world is in the beginning of the final stages of terminal cancer, if not further along. Hollywood’s just in it.

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