AMC Networks Is Latest To Enact Large-Scale Layoffs Following CEO’s Departure — Could More Follow Suit?

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AMC is the latest company to announce massive layoffs, letting go of 20% of its workforce, according to several reports. The news came on the same day as company CEO Christina Spade stepped down from her role after less than three months.

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“The AMC Networks Board of Directors is currently finalizing who it will name as a replacement, with an announcement to follow,” the company stated on Nov. 29. Spade started her role as CEO on Sept. 9, 2022, succeeding Matt Blank. Previously, she was the company’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, according to an August announcement.

In a memo to employees seen by CNBC, AMC Networks Chairman James Dolan said that the industry has been under pressure from growing subscriber losses.

“This is primarily due to “cord cutting.” At the same time we have seen the rise of direct to consumer streaming apps including our own AMC+. It was our belief that cord cutting losses would be offset by gains in streaming. This has not been the case. We are primarily a content company and the mechanisms for the monetization of content are in disarray,” he wrote in the memo.

Shares of AMC Networks — which is different from AMC Entertainment — are down 47.6% year-to-date.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the company said it had determined it needed “to conserve resources at this time,” which would involve cutbacks to operations that would include large-scale layoffs impacting approximately 20% of U.S. employees.

CNN reported that AMC’s move might presage similar announcements elsewhere in the industry. “We’ve already seen layoffs and restructuring for a handful of companies,” Insider Intelligence principal analyst Paul Verna told CNN. “Any of the [companies] that have not yet announced layoffs probably will.”

“It’s the whole ecosystem,” Verna added.

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Another media giant also underwent drastic changes recently, as The Walt Disney Company brought back Bob Iger as CEO on Nov. 20, 2022. According to CNBC, Iger said that “he won’t remove its hiring freeze as he reassesses its cost structure.”

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