Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) may be considered by Wall St. to be among the best-run media giants in the world. That status will not protect some significant number of the company’s employees.
Walt Disney Co, which reported record earnings in November, started an internal cost cutting review several weeks ago that may include layoffs at its studio and other units, three people with knowledge of the effort told Reuters.
Disney, whose empire spans TV, film, merchandise and theme parks, is exploring cutbacks in jobs no longer needed because of improvements in technology, one of the people said.
It is also looking at redundant operations that could be eliminated after a string of major acquisitions over the past few years, said the person, who did not want to be identified because Disney has not disclosed the internal review.
Executives warned in November that the rising cost of sports rights and moribund home video sales will dampen growth.
The decision may be the start of cascade of such moves at Disney’s peers. While most have reported high revenue and profits for 2012, the advertising market has tightened for 2013. Almost every one of these corporations has at least one division with weak numbers. That may be in TV, studio, theme park, cable or newspaper holdings. Investors can expect that the underperformers will be weeded out this year.