The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the plans today, saying moves could come as soon as September, the end of Disney’s fiscal year. We’re hearing that there is no firm deadline or the number of jobs expected to be cut, though reductions would come through attrition, open headcount and people being moved out of current jobs.
The WSJ said the targets include the ABC broadcast network, ABC Studios, ABC News and local stations, with Disney Channel and Freeform also likely to see job cuts. The paper says it could mean 300 layoffs overall in the division that employs around 10,000, and that Disney/ABC boss Ben Sherwood will likely present a plan to Disney CEO Bob Iger “in the coming weeks.”
In June, Disney-ABC reported an higher-than-expected increase in Upfront sales after vowing to “do better” following a year of declining ratings. The company said at the time advertisers “were especially drawn to series including: ABC’s returning comedies, realities, the TGIT programming block, and new shows,” mentioning the upcoming The Good Doctor, The Mayor and the returning American Idol; Freeform’s upcoming Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, Sirens and 25 Days of Christmas block; Disney XD’s Ducktales reboot; Disney Channel’s Andi Mack; and the Disney Jr. portfolio.