Lionsgate has ‘Quietly’ laid off 150 employees in the last 6 months
The 10 percent layoff was the first step in efforts to separate Starz from the film studio.
Lionsgate revealed that as part of its third-quarter earnings call for fiscal 2023, the company has “quietly” cut about 150 employees, or 10 percent of its staff.
The layoffs spanned the past two quarters, not just the third fiscal quarter, a person with knowledge of the cuts told IndieWire. The cuts were Lionsgate-wide and not focused on a specific business unit.
Lionsgate CFO Jimmy Barge broke the news in response to a media analyst’s question about how the company will handle corporate costs ahead of the planned spinoff of Starz or the Lionsgate studio. The separation of the businesses is still on track for September, Barge said. The cuts were made through restructuring and management of open positions, Barge said, which would help manage costs across the board and benefit the companies as they split up.
“We’re in a very good position in terms of leverage, you saw in the last quarter we removed a full turn and we’re in a good position to further deleverage. In terms of total costs and corporate overhead, I would just note that we have quietly reduced our headcount by about 150 people, or about 10 percent of our workforce,” Barge said on a conference call Thursday. “We’ve done this through restructuring and managing open positions, which will bode well for continuing to manage costs in ’24, including programming spend, marketing and G&A, so this will benefit the companies during the separation. “
In terms of revenue, Lionsgate had a strong third quarter, beating Wall Street expectations with $1 billion in revenue; the company reported earnings of 26 cents per share. Part of the record revenue came from licensing Lionsgate’s movie and TV library, specifically “Schitt’s Creek” and older movies and shows, to AVOD streamers.
Lionsgate sold a partial interest in StarzPlay Arabia in the quarter for $43 million in cash. However, Lionsgate reported that Starz suffered subscriber losses of about 700,000 worldwide during the quarter, many of which were domestic subscribers. Despite this, the company’s shares rose more than 5 percent in aftermarket trading.
Lionsgate should be gearing up for a big year with the upcoming release of “John Wick Chapter 4,” the new “Hunger Games” prequel “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” and an “Expendables” movie on the horizon. And six Lionsgate TV series were renewed last quarter. The studio also announced the return of Starz’s “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” on the call.
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