Huge Staff Cuts in the Works at Discovery

May 5, 2016  •  Post A Comment

Discovery Communications is reportedly working on implementing wide-ranging staff cuts aimed at cutting more than $120 million annually in staff costs. The company disclosed the plans in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday, according to media reports.

The company has begun notifying its employees about a voluntary buyout initiative. Discovery noted in the filing that it expects to incur severance and other personnel adjustment expenses between $40 million and $60 million.

The staff cuts, which could include layoffs, are expected to be carried out by the end of the third quarter of this year, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“The company, which owns channels such as its flagship Discovery channel, TLC and Animal Planet, cited cost savings from the cuts as well as better-than-expected advertising sales, as the reason it lifted its 2016 guidance for adjusted earnings per share from low teens to ‘at least high teens’ percentage growth,” WSJ notes.

In an earnings call today with analysts, Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav said: “We are focused on spending more on growth, in content and direct-to-consumer platforms, while relentlessly driving down cost growth. If it is not going to nourish audiences or help us grow long term, then we are attacking it.”

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