Hanna-Barbera cuts 10 staffers

This article was corrected on October 30, 1992. Julie Kane-Ritsch has been upped from director of business affairs to assistant VP of business and legal affairs for Hanna-Barbera Inc. Additionally, Sally Prendergast has been named director of marketing for H-B. They were misidentified Wednesday.

Hanna-Barbera Inc. yesterday eliminated about 10 positions in a variety of areas, roughly half of which were staff writers whose positions will now become freelance.

Fred Seibert, president of the Turner Broadcasting System-owned animation studio, disputed an earlier report (Daily Variety, Oct. 6) stating that 50-75 TV staffers were expected to be let go on Nov. 1 and the worked farmed to outside firms.

The exec declared that there would be no more layoffs at H-B, which employs about 125 TV staffers and a fluctuating number of employees on the feature side (around 100 currently).

Seibert insisted that there had never been mass layoffs discussed, but a high-ranking TBS source maintained yesterday the issue had been seriously considered and thatcompany chairman Ted Turner apparently backed off after the information leaked out.

Until recently, sources said the company had been looking at spreading the TV layoffs over a period of several months.

Yesterday’s dismissals stemmed from a change in approach to production, Seibert said.

Over the next year, he noted, the company would be expanding its production–a factor that sources said may have contributed to TBS’ decision to reduce the proposed cuts.

To prepare for the production increases, the company has brought in vet animation producer Buzz Potamkin as an exec producer; expanded the duties of Paul Gertz from senior VP to senior VP of production/exec producer for features; upped Julie Kane-Ritsch to VP of business affairs from director of business and legal affairs; and named Amanda Seward VP of business and legal affairs.

Also, Sally Prendergast has been named director of marketing for H-B homevid.

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