This week, Disney is going through its second wave of job cuts as the company goes through a cost-cutting plan to get Disney’s finances back on track to focus on profitability.    The first wave of cuts happened last month , which is expected to take the total to around 4000 jobs cut, with a final wave of job cuts expected later this summer, which will result in a total of 7000 of jobs being cut, which is about 3.2% of Disney’s total employees.

On Tuesday, more details were revealed about more cuts within Disney Entertainment, which has mainly hit marketing, PR, distribution, legal, Searchlight Pictures, Hulu and Disney+.

Within Searchlight Pictures, there were cuts across a number of departments, including legal, production, PR and marketing.   Apparently, when Disney purchased 20th Century Fox, Searchlight wasn’t impacted, and the team grew as former CEO Bob Chapek pushed for more content for its streaming services.  The Searchlight team is now back to its pre-merger number of employees, which is over one hundred.

With the changes in linear television, most studios including ABC have been pulling back on their daytime syndication business and so the first-run syndication operation has been dissolved, including Brent Jones, the director and head of production finance & operations for first-run syndication.    VP Kim Harbin, respected communications executive, who has been at the company for 25 years, will also be leaving, along with Tom Conner, who is the VP Creative Marketing.  These jobs will be absorbed by the marketing divisions of the brands that carry the syndicated shows.

At the Disney Television Animation division, several executives have been impacted including Khaki Jones, who was the SVP Current.

There will also be some changes at the PR division, with Patti McTeague, SVP Disney Branded Television Publicity, and Lisa Schreibfeder, Director, Communications and PR, Disney+,  both leaving the company after over 20 years.  Other changes will impact the Disney+ marketing team, as its being dissolved, which means that Trevor Kelley, SVP of marketing; Chris Bettes VP, Global Marketing; Angie Poston, VP, Marketing Strategy, and Natalie Benson, director digital marketing are all leaving.

Meanwhile, from the production side, Ryan Aguirre Executive, Director, Publicity, at Disney Television Studios, will also be leaving the company.  There were also some cuts within the story department, with eight employees from 20th Century Studios.

Hulu’s Scott Donaton, who is the SVP Marketing, will also be leaving, along with Alicia Martino, who is the VP, Alternative Series at Walt Disney Television Alternative and Marc Buhaj, VP, Unscripted Series and Specials, Disney Branded Television.  Marc’s latest project is the upcoming Disney+ docuseries “Ed Sheeran: The Sum Of It All”.  The team that oversaw a non-fiction slate of documentaries, formats and specials for Disney+, and unscripted series and specials for Disney Channels will be reduced.

There are going to be more cuts coming throughout the week, with another wave due over the summer.  With the merger with 20th Century Fox and a complete change in direction to focusing on its streaming services to being more leaner and proftiable, we are seeing a shift to making less shows, specials and films within Disney, but allowing them to focus on the projects they are making more.


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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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