Morning Media Newsfeed: DWA to Cut 500 Jobs | Economist Ups Beddoes

DreamWorks Animation to cut 500 Jobs. Zanny Minton Beddoes named editor of The Economist. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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DreamWorks Animation to Cut Fifth of Work Force (WSJ)
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. is cutting about one-fifth of its work force and reducing the number of movies it releases each year as the troubled entertainment studio struggles to bounce back from a string of box-office disappointments, the company said Thursday. Deadline It will eliminate about 500 jobs “across all locations and all division of the studio” as it consolidates its northern California studio on to its Glendale, Calif. campus. DWA will take a pre-tax charge of $290 million from the restructuring, most of it to be recorded in Q4 but with $110 million in cash payments, mostly this year. It expects to end up saving $30 million this year, growing to $60 million in 2017. The news lifted DWA shares about 3.2 percent in post-market trading. Variety The job loss figure is significantly higher than the estimate of a workforce reduction in the 150 to 400 range that emerged Monday. The layoffs began last week. Deadline DWA said in an SEC filing that CMO Dawn Taubin, COO Mark Zoradi and vice chairman Lewis Coleman are exiting the company as part of the restructuring plan. THR DWA will also trim its slate to two films a year. The newly announced line-up consists of the sequel Kung Fu Panda 3, set for release on March 18, 2016, followed by an original, Trolls, on Nov. 4, 2016. The following year will bring Baby Boss on Jan. 13, 2017 and The Croods 2 on Dec. 22, 2017. For 2018, the studio has set The Larrikins on Feb. 16, 2018 and How to Train Your Dragon 3 on June 29, 2018.

Zanny Minton Beddoes Named Editor of The Economist (FishbowlNY)
The Economist Group, parent of The Economist, has named Zanny Minton Beddoes editor of the magazine. She is the 17th editor — and the first female editor — in The Economist’s 172-year history. HuffPost Per a release from parent company The Economist Group, Beddoes will take the reins from current editor John Micklethwait, who held the post for nine years, on Feb. 2. The Guardian Beddoes is currently business affairs editor at The Economist, having previously been the magazine’s economics editor. In her current role she oversees the weekly’s business, finance, economics, science and technology coverage. She joined The Economist in 1994 after two years as an economist at the International Monetary Fund. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Micklethwait was named Bloomberg LP editor-in-chief in December.

FishbowlDC Founder Garrett Graff Named Editor of Politico Magazine (FishbowlDC)
Politico Magazine has a new editor — and it’s none other than Garrett Graff, who started FishbowlDC in 2005. FishbowlNY Graff, the former editor-in-chief of Washingtonian, was most recently a senior writer for Politico. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Politico also announced that Marc Caputo, the Miami Herald’s lead political writer, has been hired to launch a daily morning newsletter called Florida Playbook, modeled after Mike Allen’s famous D.C. tipsheet. Caputo joined the Herald in 2003 and is known in D.C. circles as the go-to source on Florida politics. Capital New York Politico also announced the hires of Zachary Karabell, a former columnist for The Atlantic and Slate, Matt Latimer, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, Bill Scher, co-host of “the DMZ,” Nancy Scola, formerly a correspondent for The Atlantic and The Washington Post, and Emily Thorson, a professor at George Washington University, will be a columnist for Politico Magazine.

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Icahn to Seek Two Seats on Gannett’s Board (NYT / DealBook)
Carl C. Icahn is not one to relax for long. Fresh off signing a truce with eBay, the activist investor disclosed on Thursday that he planned to seek two seats on the board of Gannett, as well as to make proposals to prevent the media company from installing defenses against potential takeover bids. Poynter / MediaWire He also expressed particular concern that each of the new companies — Gannett is in the process of the splitting of the company in two, spinning off publishing from television and digital — be open to takeover bids and not adopt any of the defenses management can use to fend off unwelcome offers. Icahn controls 6.6 percent of Gannett stock. HuffPost / AP Icahn also says he will propose that shareholders should have the right to vote on any plan the companies may adopt to fend off unwelcome takeover attempts and that holders of 10 percent or more of company stock be able to call special shareholder meetings.