New details are in about Warner Bros. Entertainment’s planned layoffs and it doesn’t look good for the Valley.
The Burbank studio will make 152 staff reductions in January across all divisions, with nearly all being done at the San Fernando Valley lot, according to notices filed last month with the state Employment Development Department.
Home entertainment with lose 46 employees, studio facilities 24 and distribution 21, with 17 in Burbank and another four in Encino, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications, which companies are required to file with the state when they plan to lay off 50 or more workers.
Workers in the television, consumer products, theatrical and international divisions in Burbank also are losing jobs. And five employees in television are being laid off in the L.A. area outside of Burbank.
In total, the studio is expected to cut about 10 percent of its workforce. Warner Bros. has a global employment of about 8,000 people. An unspecified number of employees were already laid off in November in Burbank.
Entertainment industry trade publications began reporting in early September that staff reductions were coming. Warner Bros. Chief Executive Kevin Tsujihara confirmed those reports in a memo, and in October he told investors that $200 million would be cut from the company’s budget.
The layoffs are said to be triggered by pressures to cut costs from Jeff Bewkes, chief executive of Time Warner Inc., ever since the company rejected an unsolicited $80 billion acquisition bid from media mogul Rupert Murdoch in July.
Bewkes has promised investors that the New York company can create more value by remaining independent and increasing its efficiency. Murdoch formally withdrew the bid in August.