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MGM distrib’n cuts staff by 20

Larry Gleason, in his first major move as new distribution chief at MGM/UA, announced the layoffs Monday of 20 employees in the distrib division, closing down operations in at least two cities and consolidating offices into four North American hubs.

The downsizing was in keeping with MGM’s current restructuring under topper Frank Mancuso.

“It’s more efficient,” said Gleason, prexy of worldwide theatrical distrib for MGM Distribution Co. “It’s more in line with what everybody else has been doing. We’re just playing catch-up here.”

The layoffs will shrink the distrib staff to 88 from 108. It will also close offices in Chicago and Puerto Rico, lumping them into existing divisional headquarters in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and Dallas.

Gleason said the studio had been working on the plan for some time to increase productivity.

Sources said the move could be positive for MGM/UA, which has struggled to find product to justify such a massive distrib staff.

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