Content company Entertainment One, about a year after being bought by toy maker Hasbro in a deal valued at about $3.8 billion, cut between 50 and 60 workers in its TV and Film divisions on Tuesday.
The news was first reported by Deadline.com.
According to a memo obtained by Deadline and confirmed by the company, TV and Film president Steve Bertram notified employees of the layoffs Tuesday. In the memo, Bertram spoke of the ongoing shift toward “greater control and creative stewardship” of the TV and Film business, adding that it was in response to the disruption of the traditional studio model by tech companies, accelerated by the pandemic.
Bertram continued that as a result, about 10% of the TV and Film workforce were let go, and the company is speaking with other employees about possible changes to their roles.
Reports estimated that eOne has about 1,200 employees globally, with about half of those workers housed in TV and Film production, meaning between 50-to-60 workers were likely affected worldwide.
“These team members have delivered outstanding work and demonstrated a staunch devotion to eOne throughout their respective tenures and we are immensely grateful to them all,” Bertram wrote, adding that departing workers will receive severance and healthcare packages.
“To those departing today and over the next few weeks, I want to thank each of you for your contributions to eOne and offer both my assistance and that of our senior leaders as you think about the future,” he added.
EOne produces movies, TV shows and music. In the TV space, it produced kids fare like Peppa Pig, Power Rangers and Transformers; broadcast shows like The Rookie and Designated Survivor and scripted and unscripted cable shows like Hell on Wheels for AMC Networks, Streets of Compton for A+E Networks, and Growing Up Hip Hop for WE TV.
Hasbro paid about $3.8 billion in cash for eOne in December 2019. The purchase was expected to unlock film franchise opportunities for Hasbro toy lines and plans to produce projects based on Dungeons and Dragons, My Little Pony, Power Rangers and the board game Risk had been announced earlier last year.
EOne shut down its German theatrical distribution business in October according to reports and in 2019 stopped direct theatrical distribution in Australia and New Zealand. In May, it hired former HBO programming executive Michael Lombardo to head up its TV division. Lombardo left HBO in 2016 and spent several years as an independent producer.
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