EXCLUSIVE: Some breaking news. We have just heard from eOne employees that the number of film and television employees on the Internet will be reduced by ten percent Hasbroobsessed mini major.
Steve Bertram, President of Film & TV, has just sent a memo to all employees explaining the decision. You can read the memo in full below. We asked eOne for a comment.
The company employs around 1200 people worldwide in all corporate areas. Film and television make up about 30-50%, so according to our calculations the cuts are likely to affect about 50-60 employees worldwide.
This has been the flow of traffic in traditional movie and television studios for the past few years as the market continues to evolve and viewing habits change. The pandemic has only accelerated that shift, making things harder for the majors and mini-majors where production has declined and traditional ways of film distribution have stalled in the past 12 months.
Hasbro beats estimates for the fourth quarter and game sales are helping it thrive in the “challenging” year 2020
We announced last autumn that eOne would cease its German cinema operations after contractions among film teams in other markets, as acquisitions from third parties were declining.
Cuts were widespread in traditional studios. Just today we announced that Disney would be Closure of the Blue Sky Studios.
Yesterday, Hasbro, which acquired eOne for $ 3.8 billion a year ago, announced its fourth quarter and full year 2020 results, although the releases weren’t sent to the trades as usual. The results were stable and largely due to toys and board games. In the fourth quarter, net sales rose 4% to $ 1.72 billion, while TV / movie / entertainment sales rose a healthy 20%. However, for the full year 2020, net sales declined 8% to $ 5.47 billion. Hasbro earned $ 1.27 per share, beating estimates of $ 1.14.
In a post-earnings call available online, the company was optimistic about the outlook for film and television, saying it will “spend between $ 675 million and $ 750 million in content for live-action, scripted and non-written television, and film invest in 2021, up from $ 439 million last year “.
Toymaker Hasbro has a treasure trove of potential film and television franchises and has announced new projects based on Dungeons and Dragons, My Little Pony, Power Rangers, and the board game Risk, among others. There are also eOne’s flagship kids’ brands Peppa Pig and PJ Masks to work with. GI Joe, Action Man, and Transformers are among the other franchises.
eOne last year attracted former HBO program president Michael Lombardo, who stepped up as president of Global Television. But there were also high-profile issues like Chief Strategy Officer Peter Micelli and Mark Gordon moving on to a production contract.
The studio’s film and TV highlights in recent years have included 1917 and Oscar winner Spotlight on large and small image productions or license agreements for the likes of Hell On Wheels, Fear The Walking Dead, The Rookie, Halt And Catch Fire and Designated Survivors .
Here is the internal memo that Bertram sent out on Tuesday:
Over the past few years, we’ve shared with you our strategy of shifting our film and television businesses towards better control and creative management of high quality intellectual property. This shift was a direct response to the significant disruption the traditional studio model experienced when the tech giants invested heavily in their platforms and original content creation. And the effects of the pandemic have certainly accelerated these seismic changes in our industry.
As a truly platform independent company, we are well positioned to be successful in the emerging market, especially with Hasbro’s well-known brands. However, in order to evolve with the changing industry dynamics, we need to evolve the focus and structure of our organization around the world.
To that end, I am deeply saddened to announce that today we have bid farewell to some of our colleagues and have started discussions with others about possible changes to their roles. These team members have done an excellent job of showing solid dedication to eOne during their respective tenures and we are grateful to all of them. I would like to acknowledge their vital contribution to our business and thank each of them for their dedication and myriad achievements.
The roles affected by this reorganization represent 10% of our film and television workforce. For employees in affected roles, we think critically about other possible options across the company.
To be clear, our reorganization is not the result of poor business performance during the pandemic. The industry has long since changed with the consolidation around the new global platforms. Although we have continued these measures for as long as possible due to the difficult global climate, it is more important than ever that our organizational structure reflects the needs of the company. Given the promising creative pipeline between film and television and the hopefully impending pandemic, it is important that we seize the opportunities ahead.
Today we are concentrating on supporting our affected colleagues and offering the departing team members support through severance and health packages as well as professional services and assistance programs. Affected team members have been notified and have received further details on a personal basis. I would like to thank all of you departing today and in the weeks ahead for your contributions to eOne, and offer both my support and that of our officers as you ponder the future. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
A number of business leaders will meet with their teams to share more information about our structure and vision for the future.
While days like today are very difficult, I continue to be incredibly optimistic about the future of our business – and I look forward to achieving our goals together.