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Disney-ABC TV Group Eyes Cost Cuts, Staff Restructuring

The company is hoping to reduce costs by 10 percent by the end of the fiscal year.

Disney-ABC Television Group is looking to make cuts.

The company, led by Ben Sherwood, is aiming to reduce costs by 10 percent by the end of the fiscal year, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

A network rep declined to comment.

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images – Disney Media Networks co-chair and Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood

The cutbacks could mean staff reductions and restructuring. However, a source tells THR there is no specific headcount as plans for the possible cutbacks are still in the early planning stages. The group includes broadcast network ABC, as well as cable channels ESPN, Freeform, Disney Channel and Disney XD.

The news comes weeks after ABC Studios lost one of its most important pieces of talent: prolific showrunner Shonda Rhimes, who left her home of 15 years for a lucrative overall deal with Netflix. However, since then, the studio has signed other key pieces of talent, such as Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and Ryan Seacrest.

Another pricey endeavor for the network? The upcoming American Idol reboot, for which judge Katy Perry will earn a whopping $25 million. (In addition to his daytime gig at the network, Seacrest will also earn north of $10 million to return as host.) The rest of the judging panel for Idol 2.0 has not yet been announced despite the show already holding early auditions for the upcoming season.

This past broadcast season, ABC fell 11 percent in the adults 18-49 demo and dipped nine percent in total viewers.

Elsewhere, Freeform has also endured a rough patch after its January 2016 rebranding in an effort to more effectively target “becomers” between the ages of 14 and 34. Despite one-and-dones like Kevin at Work and Dead of Summer, the network has found recent success (and critical acclaim) with The Bold Type and is getting ready to launch several big-name properties like Marvel’s Runawaysand the black-ish spinoff grown-ish.

 

 


The Wall Street Journal first reported the news | hollywoodreporter.com/news/disney-abc-tv-group-eyes-cost-cuts-staff-restructuring-1034164


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