The second consecutive day of mass layoffs hit the Fox lot as the carnage continued following the closing Tuesday night of Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
“Longtime 20th Century Fox Television Distribution president Mark Kaner is among the senior executives who were formally notified with severance details on Friday morning,” Variety reports. “21st Century Fox’s international TV sales arm is among the divisions that has direct overlap with existing operations at Disney, so there is little surprise that Kaner’s group would be affected. Nonetheless, the atmosphere on the Fox lot is extremely somber given the longevity that many executives and their teams have enjoyed. Kaner had headed the division since 1994.”
As we reported previously, a number of high-ranking executives were among the casualties on Thursday, including Chris Aronson, Heather Phillips, Julie Rieger, Mike Dunn and Andrew Cripps, along with Twentieth Television President Greg Meidel.
“Layoff notices came on Thursday to dozens of staffers on the film side of the 20th Century Fox studio, including numerous executives at the president, executive VP and senior VP level,” Variety notes. “Large-scale layoffs were anticipated as part of the historic consolidation of two of Hollywood’s biggest and oldest studios. But the reality of it sank in hard on Thursday as executives and lower-level staffers watched the notification process unfold.”
As many as 4,000 job cuts are expected at Fox.
“Staffers said they were bracing for a ‘Lord of the Flies situation,’ in the words of a Fox TV veteran, as employees raised concern that the cuts may be a rolling process that come over a period of months,” Variety reports. “That prospect has employees worried about working in a highly agitated atmosphere for the near term.”
Variety adds: “Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger acknowledged the pain on the horizon for rank-and-file employees in a lengthy memo sent to Disney’s more than 200,000 employees on Tuesday night. In that note, Iger mentioned that the evaluation of the best structure and management hierarchy may take some time to sort through.”