The Weinstein Co. is laying off more than 20 employees on Wednesday, two days before it closes its $289 million bankruptcy sale to Lantern Capital.
The layoffs are in the areas of PR, marketing, and distribution, according to a source familiar with the situation. The company had been hemorrhaging employees since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last fall, and had dwindled from 140 staffers to less than 70 as of this week. The layoffs represent nearly a third of the remaining workforce.
Technically, the entire Weinstein Co. staff is being terminated. About two-thirds of the staff are being offered jobs with the new company, Lantern Entertainment. The employees who are leaving will be paid through Friday, with no severance beyond that.
Lantern Entertainment co-presidents Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic hinted that there would be attrition during a town hall meeting at the Weinstein Co. offices on June 1. At the meeting, Mitchell and Brajovic indicated that employees might have to reapply for their jobs. Employees were particularly concerned that Lantern would curtail the distribution business. The pair did not offer anything definitive at that point, saying the business plan was still a work in progress.
The layoffs come hours after a Delaware bankruptcy judge gave final approval to the sale. Judge Christopher Sontchi agreed to a $21 million reduction in the purchase price, overruling objections from Quentin Tarantino, Bradley Cooper, and other stars who argued the deal should not close until after their contract disputes were resolved.
On Tuesday, Lantern announced that it has selected three industry veterans — Steve Beeks, Lauren Zalaznick, and Alexa Platt — to serve as advisers on the turnaround.