On Monday, it was announced that 21st Century Fox is looking to reduce staff overhead by $250 million in 2016, initiating a voluntary buyout program for U.S. employees at the Fox Networks Group and the 20th Century Fox film studio.
Memo to TV staff from Peter Rice:
Our industry is changing rapidly, presenting new challenges and even more opportunities at every turn. For a company that has always embraced change and innovation, these are exciting times. To ensure we make the most of this new world, we need to adjust, adapt, and organize for the future. With this in mind, through the remainder of this fiscal year, we will be undertaking some structural changes, increasing investment in some parts of the company while making cost reductions in other areas.
During the past 18 months, we have aligned our company around our core consumer-facing brands: reorganizing Fox Sports; expanding FX Networks; bringing together Twentieth Century Fox Television and FBC; uniting our ad sales teams into a leaner and more agile operation; purchasing True X; creating the new National Geographic Partners; and, most recently, restructuring our international channels to capitalize on our expertise in major regions.
As the next step in this reorganization, colleagues who fit a specific set of criteria will be offered a generous benefit package if they decide to voluntarily resign from the company, effective May 23, 2016. Colleagues who are eligible for this offer will receive a confidential email in the next few hours with specific terms and benefits. Again, the program is completely voluntary.
This restructuring is coming at a time when all of our businesses are hitting new heights, which I know may be confusing. Last night’s Grease: Live on FOX was a groundbreaking and spectacular production. The premiere of the X-Files, made by Twentieth Century Fox Television for FBC, was watched by a global audience of more than 50 million people. Fox Sports is home to many of the world’s biggest sporting events including last week’s NFC Championship game, this month’s Daytona 500, the next World Cup and next year’s Super Bowl. American Crime Story, which is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions and premieres on FX tomorrow, is one of the year’s most anticipated new series. Our new partnership with National Geographic has made us the world leader in visual factual entertainment across all platforms. These are just a few of the highlights across our business that, when taken together, make this an incredibly exciting creative time at the company. It is important, however, that we organize ourselves for tomorrow rather than resting on the laurels of today, and the best time to do that is when we are in a position of strength.
I realize change is difficult, but we will be stronger if we take this opportunity to position our organization for the future. This is the right thing to do for our business because although technology is rapidly changing our world, the global hunger for our brands and content will continue unabated and making the right decisions now will provide our company with many exciting opportunities for continued growth and success. I thank you all in advance for your professionalism and support.
Memo to film staff from Jim Gianopulos:
As we all know, the film industry is facing many significant changes, and we are no exception. While we continue to succeed on many fronts, such as garnering an extraordinary 30 Academy Awards nominations and; last year, setting an all-time industry box office record, we must be cognizant of the industry’s transformation and position ourselves to continue our success in this new environment. To that end, we are reviewing our organizational structure and looking at potential cost reductions to position us for sustained future growth.
As we embark on this review, we are taking the opportunity to offer 20th Century Fox colleagues who have extended tenure an enhanced benefit package if they elect to voluntarily resign from the company effective at the end of May 2016. Colleagues who are eligible for this program will receive a confidential email with the details of the offer. The program is completely voluntary, and these offers are being made to recognize the significant contributions our colleagues have made during their time at the studio.
This comes at a time that is both exciting and challenging for the company. We are the best at what we do and will continue to excel, but we also have to be fearless about transforming, and embrace both change and opportunity. If we structure our organization for the media world ahead of us, we will continue to thrive and make 20th Century Fox a stronger and more agile company going forward.
Thank you for your continued contribution and dedication.