The ink isn’t even dry on the Disney/Maker Studios acquisition deal and the MCN is already gearing up for restructuring. As Variety first reported earlier today Maker has quietly announced that it will reduce its total workforce by 10%. Those layoffs could come as soon as this week. According to a statement released by Maker this layoffs are part of an ongoing process.
“Maker’s business is constantly evolving, and we routinely reassess our internal resources and make strategic adjustments, reducing staff in some areas while actively hiring in others.” A Maker rep told Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein.
Acquisitions are often followed by restructuring so it’s no surprise that changes are being made at Maker. Even while jobs are being eliminated from the current workforce the company continues to expand its hiring efforts in other areas. It’s likely that the lost jobs simply represent functional redundancies, performing tasks that are already covered by other parts of the Disney conglomerate. As of yet no details have emerged as to which positions and at what level though a company spokesman did confirm that none of the reductions would reach the existing leadership at Maker, a guarantee presumably secured by CEO Ynon Kreiz, who engineered the Disney deal.
Though no information is yet available as to which specific positions would be lost, it is likely that those details will emerge in the days to come, giving industry watchers a clearer picture of Disney’s vision for the future of Maker. Staffing cuts are de rigueur in mergers and acquisitions, but they are just as commonplace in the MCN space. The industry, as a whole, has struggled to find a profitable business model despite skyrocketing view counts. With legacy media companies snapping up multi-channel networks left and right the problem of making these companies profitable falls to their new corporate owners. Disney, with their history of innovative business practices and creative success may be the key to finding a formula that let’s MCN’s survive and thrive.