Disney job cuts hit animation, unscripted and ESPN divisions

Disney job cuts hit animation, unscripted and ESPN divisions

Disney has cut a swathe of jobs across its animation, unscripted and ESPN divisions, as the impact of the company’s second wave of lay-offs continues to emerge.

Following the departure of ABC and Freeform execs on Monday, yesterday saw 16-year veteran Marc Buhaj, Disney Branded Television’s VP of unscripted & specials, let go from the Mouse House, alongside VP of alternative series Alicia Martino, who only joined last year.

Freeform unscripted production exec George Monas is also exiting.

Marc Buhaj

Disney TV Animation (The Owl House, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur) is meanwhile losing a number of execs, following the merger of the current and development teams, including Khaki Jones, SVP of current, who has been with the company for almost 13 years.

Disney+, kids, syndication & ESPN exits

Claire McCabe, VP of brand partnerships & kids, and Meghan de Boer, executive director, brand partnerships and kids – who were both promoted last year – are also being let go.

The company has also closed its first-run syndication operation, with Brent Jones, director and head of production finance & operations, departing as a result.

Russell Wolff, general manager at sports streamer ESPN+, is to leave later this year, with Mike Soltys, ESPN’s VP of communications, also exiting after more than 40 years at Disney.

Other marketing and PR positions being cut include Hulu’s SVP of marketing, Scott Donaton; Ryan Aguirre, executive director of publicity at Disney Television Studios and the entire Disney+ marketing team.

Comms veterans including VP Kim Harbin; Tom Connor, VP of creative marketing; Patti McTeague, SVP of Disney Branded Television publicity and Lisa Schreibfeder, director of communications and PR for Disney+, are also leaving.

The lay-offs come as CEO Bob Iger aims to cut $5.5bn across the business, including $3bn from content spend, and reduce the company’s overall staff levels by 7,000.

The redundancies this week are expected to bring the number of roles eliminated so far to around 4,000.

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