Disney to Cut Staff at ABC Television Group – Joe Flint Updated Aug. 30, 2017 7:08 p.m. ET


As many as 300 jobs could be cut in aim to reach 10% reduction in costs

Posters for ABC Television shows "Once Upon A Time" and "Blackish" on  display at The Walt Disney Co. Studios in Burbank, Calif.

Posters for ABC Television shows “Once Upon A Time” and “Blackish” on display at The Walt Disney Co. Studios in Burbank, Calif. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg News

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Walt Disney Co. is preparing significant budget cuts at its Disney/ABC Television Group that will include staff reductions and restructurings, people familiar with the matter said.

The bulk of the cuts are expected to take place at the ABC broadcast network, its television production studio, ABC News and local television stations. Cable networks Disney Channel and Freeform will also likely see their workforces reduced as well, the people said.

Overall, the cuts are expected to represent 10% of the unit’s annual costs and will identified by the end of September, which concludes Disney’s current fiscal year.

The Disney/ABC TV Group employs close to 10,000 people and is looking to reduce employees through a combination of layoffs and attrition, two people with knowledge of the situation said. The total number of positions being eliminated could be as many as 300, these people said.

The cable-sports unit ESPN, which is enduring its own tough times with declining ratings and subscribers, is not part of the Disney/ABC TV Group but has also endured employee reductions this year.

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