NEW YORK — Less than a week after a major revamp at CNN, newly formed media giant AOL Time Warner is making sweeping job cuts that will result in an additional 2,000 positions being lost.
The cuts, announced to employees Tuesday, affect the company’s music business, its America Online division, the Time Inc. magazine company and its movie studios. The cuts are part of an overall belt-tightening to make good on a promise to investors that the merger would deliver a major boost to earnings.
Combined with the 400 positions eliminated last week at CNN, the total of 2,400 job reductions would represent about 3 percent of the company’s work force of 85,000, company spokesman Ed Adler confirmed Wednesday.
The job toll could rise even further over the coming months if the company ends up closing its 130 Warner Brothers retail outlets, which employ 3,800 people. The company is hoping to sell the stores but may close them if a sale proves impossible, Adler said.
New Line Cinema let about 100 people go, or nearly 20 percent of its work force. New Line has had a poor showing at the box office recently and Michael de Luca was fired as the studio’s president last week, with Toby Emmerich replacing him.
Warner Music Group, another division that senior management has singled out for poor performance, will lose 600 jobs through attrition and early retirement packages, or about 5 percent of its work force.
AOL, now a division of AOL Time Warner, will also reduce 725 positions, including a number at its former headquarters in Dulles, Va. The combined company’s headquarters is in New York.
Some 400 jobs are being trimmed from the staff of Time Inc. The job cuts will be made at a back-office operation in Birmingham, Ala., and at a direct marketing office in Alexandria, Va.
Time Inc. is also closing three of the 20 consumer magazines it acquired last year in its purchase of Times Mirror Magazines from Tribune Co. Senior Golfer magazine is being combined with Golf magazine, Outdoor Explorer is being closed, and Today’s Homeowner is being merged into This Old House magazine. A total of 40 jobs will be affected in addition to the 400 cuts announced at Time Inc.
Another 100 jobs will be cut at the Warner Bros. movie studio, where the Entertaindom.com Web site is being melded into the studio’s own site, and another 100 jobs are being shed at its corporate headquarters.
The cuts across AOL Time Warner came less than a week after a major reorganization at CNN, where about 400 jobs are being cut. CNN is also installing several new executives, overhauling its newsgathering infrastructure and shaking up its programming schedule in an effort to get ratings out of a slump.
Competitors MSNBC and Fox News Channel have been chipping away at CNN’s audience with feisty talk show hosts like Chris Matthews and Bill O’Reilly, and several new shows on CNN’s lineup are aimed squarely at winning those viewers back.
AOL Time Warner has made other executive changes in the 10 days since the $106 billion deal closed, including a new management lineup at AOL. Sarah Crichton is leaving as head of Little, Brown & Co., an imprint Time Warner Trade Publishing. Michael Pietsch was promoted to replace her.
Other divisions of the conglomerate are not facing cuts this time. The WB broadcast network and the cable systems operations did not have any job cuts, and the HBO cable network already implemented a 10 percent job reduction over the past year.
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