| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Aug 21 Walt Disney Co's ABC
television unit on Wednesday will begin laying off about 175
people, or 2 percent of its workforce, to adjust to changes in
technology and viewing habits, a person familiar with the
The move was prompted by a companywide review to explore
cutbacks in jobs Disney no longer needs, either because of
improvements in technology or redundancies following a string of
major acquisitions in the past few years. Reuters first reported
on the internal review in January.
The new layoffs will occur across the Disney/ABC Television
Group, which includes the ABC broadcast network as well as the
Disney and ABC Family cable channels, the source said. Most of
the cuts will come in technical operations, such as broadcast
engineering, and at eight ABC-owned stations across the United
An ABC statement did not confirm the numbers of job cuts but
said the unit, which employs about 7,600 people, had reviewed
its businesses and decided to restructure to improve operations.
"As technological advances continue to alter the competitive
landscape and viewer habits, it's incumbent upon us to stay
ahead of the curve," an ABC spokesman said in the statement.
Other jobs may become available as Disney focuses on new
technologies such as its Watch ABC app, which offers live
streaming of the network's programming on mobile devices, the
In April, Disney cut 150 jobs at its movie studio, 150 at
its newly acquired Lucasfilm unit, and an undisclosed number in
its consumer products division, sources told Reuters. Its ESPN
sports network began eliminating 300 to 400 jobs in May, but a
source said at the time that those cutbacks were unrelated to
the broader review.