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Disney-Owned Maker Studios Hit With Layoffs

Disney-owned Maker Studios has laid off a number off staffers as part of what the company is calling “strategic adjustments.” A Maker spokesperson confirmed the layoffs, which were first reported by Deadline Hollywood Thursday, without commenting on the number of staffers affected. A source with knowledge of the situation told Variety that less than 30 people were laid off.

Maker Studios’ business is constantly evolving and after careful thought, we have decided to make some strategic adjustments – reducing staff in some areas while still actively hiring in others – to best align with the go-forward strategy of the company,” the spokesperson said via email.

Disney acquired Maker Studios for $500 million in early 2014, with an option for performance-based earn-outs of up to $450 million. Originally launched as a YouTube multi-channel network, Maker has been branching out since acquired by Disney, and also produced content for platforms like Verizon’s Go90.

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However, plans to build a dedicated owned-and-operated destination for Maker content largely fizzled. Maker had acquired pioneering video service Blip for this purpose in 2013, but the site was eventually shuttered two years later.

Disney’s acquisition of Maker has not been without hiccups, including some management shake-up. Most recently, Maker CEO Ynon Kreiz left, and was replaced by former COO Courtney Holt.

Earlier this month, Maker earned its first Emmy nomination for its “Epic Rap Battles of History” YouTube series, and two short-form actor nods for “A Crossroads of History.”

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