National Geographic Partners, the joint venture controlled by 21st Century Fox that includes cable networks and the storied nature magazine, has laid off about a dozen members of total workforce of just shy of 900 people.
Reps for the venture cited an overall modernization and streamlining, which has been under way since Fox paid $725 million for control in 2015.
“As we align our U.S. business with our growth objectives — where we continue to increase our investments — and modernize our circulation marketing, we unfortunately had to eliminate what represents a little over 1% of our team across the company,” the company said in a statement.
The belt-tightening comes a few weeks after Fox agreed to sell most of its assets to Disney in a merger that is altering the media landscape even if it is more than a year away from regulatory approval. The company, which first teamed with the National Geographic Society to launch several cable networks in 1997, now holds about 73% of the venture.
The National Geographic network has been making significant investments in programming and rolled out a major rebranding in 2016. Genius, its Ron Howard-directed anthology series, collected 10 Emmy nominations for its debut installment about Albert Einstein, which starred Geoffrey Rush. An upcoming second season will star Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso.
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