On Monday, Disney CEO Bob Iger indicated that the long-anticipated layoffs will begin this week.
Iger said that the layoffs, expected to eliminate 7,000 jobs, would be conducted in three phases, with the first round currently taking place. A second round which will impact a larger amount of staff will happen in April, while the third is expected to occur before summer.
ABC News, which falls within the Disney portfolio, will be one of the divisions reducing staff numbers during the first round of layoffs. The news division run by Kim Godwin is expected to lose around 50 positions, according to Insider.
These eliminated positions will include unfilled roles, which might relieve the anxious staff bracing for the worst. ABC News has a staff count of around 1,500 people, so this initial round of cuts would impact a tiny percentage of its overall headcount.
Whether more cuts will be made during the second and third rounds is still being determined.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Godwin said that she shares the same anxiety as her staff and has instructed them, in the meantime, to “hold on.”
Disney is looking to cut $5.5 billion in costs across its media and distribution division, parks and resorts, and ESPN, with $3 billion coming from content spend. In a memo to staff, Iger said that the layoffs are a “part of a strategic realignment of the company, including important cost-saving measures necessary for creating a more effective, coordinated, and streamlined approach to our business.”