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WWE Smacks Down 60

World Wrestling Entertainment said Friday that it will reduce its global workforce by 10%, resulting in about 60 employees losing their jobs.

The layoffs will result in annual savings of about $8 million in compensation and benefit costs. WWE said it would incur a $3 million, one-time restructuring charge in the first quarter of 2009.

The producer of such cable fare as SmackDown and Raw has about 600 employees worldwide, according to the Associated Press

The layoffs are consistent with the company’s previous commitment to implement stronger cost controls, increase earnings and margins and reduce its cost base by $20 million in 2009. In addition to staffing, the company has completed a comprehensive evaluation of its operating and capital expenditures and has identified additional efficiencies.

“These efficiencies will help position the company for the long term, by placing it in a stronger, more flexible position,” said WWE chief executive Linda McMahon in a statement. “With these actions, we believe we can execute our key strategic initiatives, including our digital strategy and international expansion, in a more profitable manner.”