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Lionsgate To Cut 8% of Staff

The indie movie and TV studio Lionsgate, which produces Mad Men, is cutting its staff by 8%, eliminating 41 jobs, officials confirmed Friday.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate laid off 17 employees Friday, and will not fill 24 positions that are currently open, according to Lionsgate spokesman Peter Wilkes. The Los Angeles Times first reported the layoffs.

“This is part of cost savings that have been planned for some time,” Wilkes said. “The company is currently doing well, but in the difficult economic environment it’s a move we have to make in order to continue doing well."

The cuts will trim down Lionsgate’s 550-staff roster, which has grown from 350 people in the past few years in large part because of acquisitions the studio has made.

The job losses will span Lionsgate’s various divisions, including movies, television, home entertainment, finance and legal, and are meant to reduce the company’s current $140 million annual overhead by $10 million.

Lionsgate, whose current theatrical releases include Saw V, instituted a job freeze over the summer.

The studio, which has a number of cable investments, is slated to report fiscal second-quarter earnings Monday.  

Lionsgate not only produces a number of shows for cable, such as AMC’s Emmy-winner Mad Men, it also owns stakes in FearNet and a new premium service that it is launching with Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.