Telepictures Productions’ “Extra” laid off a number of staffers last week as the syndicated newsmagazine adjusts to the realities of an increasingly challenging TV market.
Tracey Edmonds is poised to exit her role as co-host over the summer. That decision was said to be driven by her desire to return to full-time producing, although it is still likely part of the cost-cutting effort as her role will not be replaced. Mario Lopez and Charissa Thompson will continue on as co-hosts. The show has been renewed through the 2018-19 season.
The layoffs are said to affect about 15-20 employees at all levels. Before the staff cuts, “Extra” had about of 170 staffers in Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas.
Telepictures confirmed that staffing changes were recently made for budgetary reasons and that the show has been widely renewed for another two seasons. Edmonds had co-hosted the show since 2014.
“Extra” and syndicated entertainment/pop culture newsmagazines of its ilk were once a license to print money. But with ratings erosion across the broadcast TV landscape and weakness in the national and local advertising market, the most syndicated shows have been forced to trim expenditures. CBS has taken the step of opting to shutter “The Insider,” a companion to “Entertainment Tonight,” in September.
“Extra” has been a syndication mainstay since 1994, often airing in the 7 p.m. hour in tandem with the NBCUniversal TV-distributed “Access Hollywood.” Lisa Gregorish-Dempsey is the longtime senior exec producer, running the show with exec producers Theresa Coffino and Jeremy Spiegel.