In addition to the furloughs, the sports entertainment company announced Wednesday that it would be reducing compensation for executives and board members, deferring plans to build a new headquarters for at least six months, and releasing multiple onscreen performers and backstage producers. Those released include WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, Curt Hawkins, Luke Gallows, and EC3. Backstage producers Shane Helms, Lance Storm, and Fit Finlay were also among those released by the company, with Angle having been working as a producer as well since last year.
WWE estimates that the moves will lead to a monthly savings of approximately $4 million and a cash flow improvement of $140 million, with most of the latter coming from the decision to delay building the new headquarters.
“Management continues to believe the fundamentals of the Company’s business remain strong and that WWE is well positioned to take full advantage of the changing media landscape and increasing value of live sports rights over the longer term,” WWE said in a statement.
News of the reductions comes after WWE was deemed an “essential business” in the state of Florida, which will allow it to continue filming its weekly television shows out of the WWE Performance Center in Orlando with no audience present despite the current stay-at-home order.
WWE’s three weekly shows are “Monday Night Raw” and “NXT,” both of which air on USA Network, and “SmackDown Live,” which airs on Fox. WWE is currently in the middle of the first year of its five year deal with Fox, which is valued at $1 billion total.
(Pictured: WWE CEO Vince McMahon)