In March of 2023, Disney made the decision to consolidate production operations across Disney Television Studios as the company begins dissolving the studio and consolidating all musical operations. Along with this is a complete shutdown and restructuring of the studio’s Creative Acquisitions department and, of course, loads of layoffs.
According to Deadline, a second round of layoffs containing a number of long-time Disney veterans was announced on April 24th, 2023 and it appears to be far from the last.
Among those leaving is development executive Julie Jarmon. Freeform’s director of development and programming Alix Lee as well as its Senior Vice President of Content Planning and Strategist Sarah Tomassi Lindman are also departing. ABC’s Senior Vice President in charge of Current Programming Stacey Adams is leaving, while head of drama Brianna Bennett takes over in her place.
As Disney Television Studios’ marketing operations are dismantled, responsibility for marketing will be handed over to Hulu, Freeform, and FX to independently handle matters themselves. Senior Vice President of Marketing Steven Melnick, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Promotions Sharon Merle-Leiberman, and Senior Vice President of Marketing have been dismissed from their roles along with several members of their teams.
20th Television’s Executive Vice President and head of music, Jeremy Summers, along with the Senior Vice President for ABC Signature will also be included in this widespread net of layoffs. Additionally, the Senior Vice President and co-head of Current Programming, Dana Sharpless, is another long-time employee being let go, leaving co-head Steve Scherman to run the department.
Vice President Nicole Ettinger will also be departing 20th Television as well, along with Executive Director of comedy development Stephanie Rosenthal.
To round off this list of layoffs for ABC Signature are Vice President of drama development Brenda Vogel and Vice President of comedy Jenny Fritz. The managers of drama development, Gabrielle Gold and Max Henke, have also not survived the chopping block, along with several coordinators on their staff.
This is the second of three confirmed waves of layoffs with a goal of eliminating 7,000 employees and is expected to contain the largest number of names. Check back at Cord Cutters News towards the start of summer when the final round of layoffs is expected to be announced.