Exclusive: As Disney cuts 4K staff across the block with the goal of reaching $5.5 billion in savings, Deadline learned that on the feature side, those laid off consisted largely of mid-level staff and coordinators.
Among those departments hit were Searchlight, as well as Disney’s general marketing, public relations, distribution, legal, 20th Story and Disney divisions.
Those wiping their brows, shrugging off the ax include many prolific CEOs.
While those affected have been everyone from two-decade-old vets to staff, an insider tells Deadline it wasn’t a bloodbath similar to what happened when Disney absorbed 20th Century Fox.
In the story department, eight employees were cut, some of whom came from 20th Century Fox. The employees were notified today in meetings with the HR department and department heads.
Deadline Hearing Those fired have been given 60 days notice, however, they must work the full term of their employment with a week of severance pay. In previous layoffs, those who left were not expected to work and still received their pay when notified.
However, since many of the affected individuals are union employees, their termination is determined by their collective bargaining agreement and years of service. Disney aims to give those fired as much flexibility as possible during the 60-day period so they can look for other jobs.
On the Searchlight side, those departments affected were legal, production, public relations, and marketing. When Disney merged with 20th, Searchlight was largely unaffected. The merger ballooned after former CEO Bob Chapek shifted Disney toward streaming, and now the classic 20 brand is back to its pre-merger number of employees, i.e. in the 100+ employee range.
More discounts are coming. So far, Pixar is untouched in Emeryville, California.
Disney did not return Deadline’s request for comment.
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