EXCLUSIVE: Once again Sesame Workshop is handing out pink slips. Around 30 employees at the producers of Sesame Street were let go today. This comes just more than a year after a dozen employees were shown the door at the non-profit last May. “We at Sesame Workshop are not immune to the challenges of today’s economic environment. After careful review, we have concluded that we must operate, and achieve our strategic priorities with fewer resources. Therefore, we have reluctantly determined that we must reduce our workforce by approximately 10%,” said CEO H. Melvin Ming in a note sent to staff this afternoon. Among those who have been let go are former Newsweek Inc CEO and Nickelodeon executive Tom Ascheim, who joined the company in March 2012 as EVP of the Sesame Learning program. Sesame Learning will be absorbed into other divisions of the company, Ming said today. The CEO also announced that the Corporate Strategy and the Business Systems Programming groups will be dissolved as of July 1st. Sesame Workshop’s Global Education department will also be melded into other units. “We remain optimistic about our future and remain committed to our mission of helping children reach their highest potential here and around the globe,” a spokesperson for Sesame Workshop told me today while admitting to the layoffs. In 2009, Sesame Workshop, which produces programming for more than 150 countries worldwide, laid off more than 60 of its then 355 employees as the company was hit with declining donations and licensing revenue from the bad economy.
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