Discovery staff cuts to cost the firm up to US$60m

David Zaslav

David Zaslav

Discovery Communications plans to make staff cuts that will cost the cable giant up to US$60 million (€52 million).

A filing reveals severance pay and other related costs relating to voluntary buyouts will end in impairments of between US$40 million and US$60 million.

An internal memo from CEO David Zaslav outlining a restructuring was circulated to Discovery employees yesterday as part of a plan “designed to align its operations with evolving business needs and improve efficiencies”.

Zaslav said the reductions would be made across business units, with divisional management contacting their teams with specifics in coming days and weeks.

Discovery’s filing said the resulting cost structure would look to direct funds to “growth initiatives, including digital services and content creation”.

The company has previously set a target of earning an extra US$100 million in extra revenues from its direct-to-consumer OTT platforms, and has invested heavily in its new digital content arm Seeker.

Plans for the cuts were drawn up on April 28 and they are expected to be complete by the third quarter of this year.

The news comes ahead of Discovery’s first-quarter earnings results today.