AMC Networks To Lay Off 100 Employees
The entertainment industry continues to take a beating as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to rage around the world. The latest casualty is AMC Networks, which recently announced that they would be laying off employees.
Variety reports that 10 percent of AMC Network’s staff will be laid off or around 100 workers. This is part of the network’s plans to refocus on streaming, especially since it has become one of their growth areas during the pandemic.
The layoffs were announced at a virtual town hall by Josh Sapan, CEO and president of AMC Networks. According to him, the move was meant to strengthen their streaming division, which posted increasing revenue in the third quarter of the year.
Deadline reports that the decision to trim the AMC Network workforce had been brewing for months. After it was decided that streaming would be the way forward for the company, moves were made to streamline, especially since a different strategy is needed to increase streaming customers.
Even before the announcement of the impending layoffs, company executives were already departing the company after serving for several years. For instance, industry veteran Sarah Barnett left the company after serving as president of AMC Network’s Entertainment Group for more than a decade.
As of the moment, AMC Network’s streaming offerings are AMC+, Shudder, Sundance Now, Acorn TV, IFC Films Unlimited, and UMC. None of these services have a gigantic subscriber base of other streamers like Netflix and Disney+, but they are exceeding internal targets set for them.
Quoting a third-quarter earnings report, Deadline says the streaming services offered by AMC Networks are on the way to collectively have 5.5 million subscribers, which is higher than the target set by the company.
The layoffs at AMC Networks follow the layoffs being made at other entertainment companies as well. Just last week, WarnerMedia announced that thousands of its employees would be laid off. Just like AMC Networks, WarnerMedia said the layoffs are a result of a pivot to streaming and direct-to-consumer products.
The announced layoffs are actually the second time WarnerMedia has done it this year. The company had already implemented a round of layoffs back in August.
Another network, NBCUniversal, had also warned that layoffs in the hundreds of thousands are likely to happen due to the streamlining being implemented on the company’s streaming and television departments.
Disney is another entertainment company that has had to let go of tens of thousands of its workers due to the global coronavirus pandemic's effects on the economy. The company recently let go of 28,000 of its theme park workers in the United States. Disney theme parks have remained closed for most of the year because of the pandemic.