isney (DIS)-ABC Television Group is said to be planning to cut about 10% of its annual budget, a move that could include up to 300 layoffs across several Disney-owned channels by the end of September, according to the Wall Street Journal.
ABC, ABC Studios, ABC News and local TV stations will reportedly take the biggest hit, and Disney Channel and Freeform’s staff will also be impacted. Variety sources said that no head count has been formally determined yet, and that Disney’s aim with the restructuring is to free up more resources for content development.
Disney’s rivals, both in the traditional entertainment space and burgeoning streaming arena, are pumping resources into original and licensed content.
Netflix‘s (NFLX) content chief Ted Sarandos recently told Variety that the company is likely to up its content spending to $7 billion in 2018 from $6 billion this year. The streaming heavyweight recently lured away ABC’s hitmaker, Shonda Rhimes, the creator of “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Amazon (AMZN) Studios devoted an estimated $4.5 billion to content. Even Apple (AAPL) has put some money on the table, and is reportedly set to spend $1 billion on originals.