Many executives at The Walt Disney Company are getting the axe as part of the company’s attempt to restructure and focus on Disney+. Disney insiders are calling the layoffs a “bloodbath” according to reports.
The executive layoffs come soon after the announcement of over 32,000 staff jobs being slashed, as The Mouse House reels from a prolonged pandemic shutdown of much of its theme park and travel business, and many movie and television productions put on ice.
The staff reductions are taking place in Disney’s General Entertainment Content unit, overseen by Peter Rice, and Dana Walden’s Walt Disney Television division, including ABC and studio 20th Television. Sources say more than 100 staffers have been impacted by Thursday’s layoffs. “I’m sure Disney’s seen worse, but it feels pretty significant,” said one longtime executive familiar with the cutbacks. Disney declined comment. (THR will update this post with more information as it becomes available.)
Longtime ABC exec Vicki Dummer, who has spent nearly a quarter-century at Disney and most recently served as head of current for the broadcast network, is among the senior executives who have been impacted by the layoffs. ABC’s exec vp scheduling Andy Kubitz, an eight-year network veteran, is also among those who lost their jobs Thursday. Kubitz most recently patched together ABC’s schedule after the scores of holes were created when the pandemic forced production to shut down.
On the studio side, Dan Kupetz — who joined 20th TV in January to fill the void created by longtime studio co-chief Howard Kurtzman’s retirement — was also let go.
The report goes on to state that Hulu executives are concerned about their positions, as its rumored Disney 18+ is on the way and may see further consolidation of streaming services get funneled into Disney+.
Disney also seems to be pruning back on some of its animated content, with it being confirmed yesterday that the popular DuckTales animated series is getting cancelled.
Whatever the future holds for The Walt Disney Company, it’s becoming very clear that pre and post pandemic Disney will be two very different things.