Coming soon: More layoffs at Disney

Another round of cuts will leave film studio jobs -- and more -- on the cutting-room floor.

By Jon Gorey Apr 5, 2013 1:31PM

Walt Disney Co. Studios international headquarters building in Burbank, Calif. (copyright Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg via Getty Images)For Walt Disney (DIS) employees, this week has played out more like a cutthroat reality show than a feel-good fairy tale.


The entertainment giant is planning to lay off workers in its movie studio and consumer products divisions, according to Reuters, with the studio cuts focused on the marketing and home video units. Employees expect the layoffs will take place before Disney reports second-quarter earnings on May 7, according to Variety.


With sales of physical DVDs in decline, Disney CEO Bob Iger has said he expects digital distribution deals to fuel future growth, which would explain the cutbacks in home video. In 2011, Iger told The Wall Street Journal, "Netflix (NFLX), Hulu, Amazon (AMZN), Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes, whatever other platforms emerge, we are looking at as having the same potential that home video had for the movie business."


At the box office, Disney has been leaning more heavily on partners such as Pixar and Marvel, with fewer films getting developed in-house. The company's 2015 lineup is a franchise-fest, with a fifth "Pirates of the Caribbean" in the works alongside Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: Episode VII," Marvel's "The Avengers 2" and "Ant-Man," and a Pixar sequel to "Finding Nemo" called "Finding Dory," according to Variety.

The layoff rumors come two days after the company announced it would close down production at LucasArts, the game studio acquired in October's $4.1-billion deal for Lucasfilm. Disney's plan is to leverage the iconic "Star Wars" brand by licensing the rights to third-party developers. "After evaluating our position in the games market, we've decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company's risk," the company said in a statement.


The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Fritz reported that up to 200 LucasArts employees were let go on Wednesday. And the parent company has cut roughly 300 other jobs, mostly at Disney Interactive, in three rounds of layoffs in the last year, according to Reuters. Disney cut more jobs last year when it moved its publishing unit to Burbank, Calif., from New York.  


Shares of Disney were trading down 0.7% to $57.20 midday Friday.

Apr 5, 2013 5:08PM

This is how a private sector company deals with poor quarterly earnings.  The U.S. government would give everyone a tax payer funded raise.  Which is why the city of Stockton is in so much trouble.  The mayor of Stockton promised full PERS for anyone working even 1 year in the public sector.  Now the city is BANKRUPT! If you din't know the largest U.S. City ever went Bankrupt, look to the news media. 

When the retirements of American's were lost due to the recession, the Government guarenteed public sector PERS, but NO PRIVATE SECTOR RETIREMENTS!

When we all lost 1/3 of our income in the recession, public employees continued getting raises.  Dont be mad at Disney for doing what needs to be done to stay healthy.  Question why the government doesn't do the same.

Apr 5, 2013 2:56PM

Boy...even Disney ?

Must be a small world after all..............

Apr 5, 2013 4:22PM
How do people afford to even go there? Most of us are still digging and climbing a wall!
Apr 5, 2013 3:13PM
They are cutting jobs in their most unprofitable divisions.  Big surprise there.  It's sound decisions like this that make Disney the powerful company it is.
Apr 5, 2013 3:34PM

It's no surprise Disney is struggling.

First, it's Disney in name only with the family having minimal to no say on day to day operations.

Two : It's parks were a place for a family to get away from reality if only for a few hours or overnight at a reasonable price.

Now : There are long lines to the rides, Disney parks are way overpriced and most importantly they are not family friendly anymore now that they have embraced same sex couples day where straight families kids are subjected to seeing man on man or woman on woman making out publicly, gay parade's  and transgender pride garbage.

Doesn't sound very family friendly for the traditional family that once made up most of Disney's customers.

Walt Disney is crying up in heaven right now over how corporate America has ruined his dream of a fantasy getaway for families and I'm not talking two mommies or daddies families.

Apr 5, 2013 4:44PM
Mickeys in the unemployment much for recovery huh??
Apr 5, 2013 4:45PM
Obama said all was well what went wrong
Apr 5, 2013 3:37PM
Hey- - ''TRUTH MORON- - - such pent up emotion and hatred- - WOW, and coming from a ''Party Member'' of - - Love ! ! - - You know those balance the budget and cut the spending in half by the end of my first four years kind of guys. As Dr Carson, ''an extremely intelligent black man''  suggests- - It isn't Brain Surgery- - conservatism works every time it is tried! And it is working for Disney- - can't afford OBAMACARE- - cut the people- - go in a different direction- - create alliances- - give the people a product they want. You see, corporations were never created to give people jobs, they were created to make $ $$ $ $ and in the process if employees get rich also - - well that's just great. BUT when IDIOTS- - who never worked at a job in their entire life, haven't the slightest idea of economic theory, hire professors from the finest universities in the USA who also have never been outside of the classroom, you get a hiring rate of 88,000 jobs created last month. WOW- - CAN'T HIT A JUMP SHOT (2 OUT OF 22)- - - CAN'T RUN A COUNTRY. Guess White men- - CAN JUMP- - - Think it is time for you to recharge your OBAMAPHONE ! ! ! !
Apr 5, 2013 5:55PM
Sounds like it's exactly how a company SHOULD be run. Would be a lot better off if more companies knew how to cut dead weight.
Apr 5, 2013 2:55PM

OBAMANOMICS in full swing!! Now the labor participation rate has hit another historic low. You would have to go back to 1978 to get a number as low. All the liberal Obama zombies would like us to think this is due to the baby boomers retiring. Truth of the matter is a large majority of boomers have less than 40k saved and have to return to the workforce to make ends meet. In fact an article was posted on MSN this week showing the fastest growing sector of employment was those workers 65 and older returning to work and many occupying entry level positions usually reserved for recent college graduates.

Labor participation rates 2008-2013:

2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.1 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.9 63.8 63.6 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.6
2013 63.6 63.5 63.3
Apr 5, 2013 4:47PM
Donald, Goofy, and Miss Daisy are now on the unemployment lines. Don't worry guys, the recession is almost over!
Apr 5, 2013 6:13PM

government  taxes and crushes small business over and over .(how do i know? i am one)  for those that have never run a small business i challenge you to try it and see if you can do "just the paper work" the government, federal,state and bourogh throw at you and "then" try to have time to "ACTUALY" build a product.  
you people want jobs????  then tell every polittion and govenment oficial to stop taxing us into oblivion.  1/3 of my buisness is international.  (postal service jacks international shipping 40 to 60 percent in one year. (and thats after raseing it 10% two years earlyer)  people like amazon, barns and noble and many others took at least a 30% hit in lost revenue. (wich means they have to let people go. (the postal service could have spread those costs over there entire  field of services so prices would have gon up across the board say 5% it would really not have effected business) but noooooooooo!!!!! they hit just the international and jack the hell out of it!! what person over seas that wants a book or vidio is "now" going to pay  23.95 in shipping for a 5 dollar book or vidio?  NONE!!
NOW they are trying to start a new tax on all online businesses. THATS ''AFTER" JACKING THE HECK OUT OF OUR TAXES THIS YEAR!! 
so lets recap shall we....

40 to 60% hike on all international sales.

higher taxes for this year. (i got hit with 6000 dollars more then last year i had to pay)

new taxes for state and federal on internet sales.

more complicated tax code then last year.

never knowing what they are gonna do next so we sit in limbo.

government devalueing the dollar so EVERY THING WE NEED TO BUY COSTS WAY MORE!!

its like our government is single handedly trying to distroy any and all jobs in america.

for those that say "i dont care, thats your problem, COST OF DOING BUSINESS",    i say to you....when you go to the 247th job interview and YET AGAIN do not get a job.  us small businesses will say to you...."i dont care, you should have helped us get things changed around so we could have hired you.

untill government stops killing us, we are all doomed.
Apr 5, 2013 6:47PM
I am in shock that there is enough foreigners to keep it afloat!  I am told, not sure if it's true, that State and County Social welfare agencies purchase millions of dollars worth of park passes to hand out to people on assistance!   We haven't made a visit to Disneyland  in Anaheim in more than four years!

 The last time we went to Disneyland, the park entry was over $200 for the three of us including the parking fee.  I earn less than half of what I earned in 2005, yet the price has gone up over 150% since then!
Apr 5, 2013 4:14PM
Its all George W. Bush's fault - remember that.
Apr 5, 2013 4:55PM
How many people out here really understand the intricacies of the corporate world, let alone its accounting practices?  Wait and see is often a good attitude to adopt.
Apr 5, 2013 6:49PM

The last 13 presidents have been taking us in this direction idiot......It's been a New World order tag team Lucha Libre style beating on the American public...working on us.

Look at the mask needed...!

Apr 5, 2013 5:32PM
Tax the One Percenters - starting with Scrooge McDuck!
Apr 5, 2013 4:51PM

Maybe the base workers, but Mickey, Minnie & Donald?

No -- they've got golden parachutes, huh?

Apr 5, 2013 4:51PM
Apr 5, 2013 7:00PM
But Obama says the recession is over.
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