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Disney is set to eliminate thousands of jobs starting next week

Walt Disney Co. plans to cut thousands of jobs next week, including about 15% of the staff in its entertainment division, according to people familiar with the plans.

The cuts will span TV, film, theme parks and corporate teams, affecting every region where Disney operates, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t yet public. Some affected workers will be notified as early as April 24.

The company declined to comment. Shares were down 0.6% at $100.35 in pre-market trading amid a broader decline in stocks.

Disney said in February it planned to eliminate 7,000 positions from its workforce of more than 220,000, part of an overall strategy to shave $5.5 billion in annual costs. Cuts are being carried out across the company, the people said, including at Disney Entertainment, a unit created in a restructuring this year as a home for the company’s movie and TV production and distribution businesses including streaming.

As part of that restructuring, Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger moved to restore authority to creative executives. He elevated key lieutenants including Alan Bergman and Dana Walden, the co-chairmen of Disney Entertainment. With the company paring its commitment to general entertainment and focusing more on franchise properties and well-recognized brands, the entertainment division has emerged as a focus of the cuts.

Every major media company, including Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. and Paramount Global, is trimming its headcount as Wall Street’s attention shifts from subscriber growth in streaming to the high cost of operating online video platforms.

In November, Iger returned to lead Disney after a $1.47 billion quarterly loss in the company’s streaming business precipitated the ouster of his hand-picked successor, Bob Chapek. Bloomberg

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