EXCLUSIVE: As Disney cuts 4K staffers across the conglomerate in a goal to reach $5.5 billion in savings, Deadline has learned that on the feature side, those being laid off were largely comprised of mid-level and coordinator staffers.
Among those departments hit were Searchlight, as well as general Disney marketing, PR, distribution, legal, and the 20th and Disney story departments.
Those wiping their brows, and ducking the ax include many prolific executives.
While those being effected were everyone from two-decade vets to frosh staffers, one insider tells Deadline that it wasn’t a bloodbath akin to when Disney absorbed 20th Century Fox.
In the story department, eight employees were cut, some who came over from 20th Century Fox. Employees were given notice today in meetings with HR and department heads.
Deadline hears that those dismissed were given 60 days notice, however, they must work for a duration of their employment with a week of severance pay. In previous layoffs, those let go were not expected to work and still received pay when given notice.
That said, given that many of the impacted individuals are union employees, their severance is determined by the collective bargaining agreement and years of service. Disney aims to give those fired as much flexibility as possible during the 60-day period so they can look for other jobs.
On the Searchlight side, those departments impacted were legal, production, PR and marketing. When Disney merged with 20th, Searchlight was largely unaffected. They swelled post merger as former CEO Bob Chapek pivoted Disney toward streaming, and now the 20th classic arthouse label is back at a pre-merger number of employees, that being in the 100+ staffer range.
Other cuts are coming. To date, Pixar in Emeryville, CA has been untouched.
Disney didn’t return Deadline’s request for comment.