Today it was announced in a memo to staff that as the channel is being separated from Lionsgate a move that should be finished in 2023. The Starz channel will shut down in two counties and lay off 10% of its staff as part of this move.
This was first reported by Variety who says that Starz will cease operations in the U.K. and Australia as it lays off 10% of its staff. This follows news that it will exit Latin America.
“We are making these changes to align our organization with the growth areas of the business and to prepare us for our next chapter as a standalone company,” Said Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch in a memo on Friday obtained by Variety.
Lionsgate bought Starz for $4.4 billion in 2016 and already are parting ways with the network. Lionsgate announced back in July the studio business will be rebranded as StarzPlay and rename the streaming service Starz as Lionsgate+ in 35 countries starting September 29th. Starz will remain as is in the U.S. and Canada, as will Starzplay in Arabia and Asia’s Lionsgate Play.
The companies will run as separate entities yet still “align in strategies at the end of the current sales process,” Liongate filed a Form 10 registration statement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last July.
This form restructures the divisions into separate corporations, somewhat un-merging the companies into a separate studio and media network brands, dubbed New Lionsgate and New Starz.
Now, it seems that Starz is preparing for the separation by cutting costs and reducing its footprint.
Here is the full memo:
This morning we announced a company-wide organizational restructure, including the exit of the UK territory. As difficult as it is, with many of our employees being impacted, we are making these changes to align our organization with the growth areas of the business and to prepare us for our next chapter as a standalone company.
What has been instrumental to our successful transition from a linear only business into the new digital world, has been our laser focus on the changing environment, anticipating what lies ahead and adapting the organization to succeed in this disruptive environment. It’s why we continue to stand out as one of the only profitable premium networks.
As I have said many times before, I believe that we have the best team in the business and appreciate the contribution of each employee, which makes these organizational changes even more difficult. We are committed to ensuring that those impacted today are supported and their transition is as easy as possible.
We will have the opportunity to discuss these changes and more in our upcoming Business Update and in the meantime your leaders will be sharing information specific to your area of the business.
Cord Cutters News is reaching out to Starz for comment and will update our story as we learn more.