Disney’s Maker Studios is in the midst of another round of layoffs today, which follows a round in July that claimed about 30 employees. A source close to the situation says the total number of layoffs now underway is around 80, at various levels of the operation.
In December, Disney folded Maker’s digital operation into its content and media business division run by Andrew Sugerman, EVP Publishing and Digital Media at the Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. The plan was to shift the focus of Maker’s shortform content to build a digital media network targeting millennials and kids.
“We’re building a digital media network of Disney and non-Disney content for kids and millennials on the platforms they use every day. For advertisers, this network offers mobile, video, short-form content, micro-content, and influencers, all at scale,” Sugarman said in a statement today. The company did not comment on the layoffs.
In mid-2014, Disney committed $500 million for the digital network, with additional payouts of millions more if the company reached undisclosed financial targets. Whatever those numbers were, Maker didn’t make them, and the Bob Iger-run Disney ended up paying out $198 million, including about $100 million for the fiscal year that ended in early October 2015.