AMC Networks confirmed it is offering voluntary buyout packages to employees that have been with the company for 10 years or more in an effort to reduce costs.
AMC Networks, which includes channels AMC, IFC, WeTV, Sundance TV and BBC America, wouldn’t say how many employees are eligible for the buyouts, but people familiar with the company pegged the number at about 200, or abvout 6% of its total workforce. Those same people said while there is no guarantee how many workers will opt for the buyouts, typically between 10% and 15% of those eligible participate. At that rate, 20 to 30 employees could end up leaving.
Buyouts are becoming more prevalent in the media business as networks look to cut costs in the wake of declining ad sales and a shrinking subscriber base. AMC, which airs four of the top five highest rated shows on cable – including the No. 1 show, The Walking Dead – reported ad sales increases of 1.3% in the first quarter, compared to a 25.3% increase in the same period in 2015.
No word yet on what AMC is offering or how much it hopes to save through the effort.
In May, hundreds of workers at 21 Century Fox’s film and TV organizations accepted buyouts offered by the parent aimed at paring $250 million in costs. Also in May, Discovery Communications earmarked $40 million to $60 million for buyout packages offered to employees that month. Discovery did not disclose how many employees were eligible for the buyout packages or how many workers took them.
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