Axios Pro: Media Deals

September 19, 2022

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Good morning, Media Deals readers!

🇬🇧 Situational awareness: Paramount-owned Channel 5 was the only U.K. public service broadcaster that did not show any royal-related coverage during the Queen's funeral and instead aired "The Emoji Movie," per Variety.

1 big thing: Layoffs persist

Illustration of a pink slip shaped like a broken heart.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Media layoffs continue to spread, with several companies enacting or announcing significant layoffs over the past week.

Why it matters: Media companies began cost-cutting measures earlier this year citing macro fears of an economic downturn, which persist, and now public companies like Netflix have made cuts due to continued concerns from shareholders.

Driving the news: Over the last week, several gaming news companies were impacted by layoffs, along with a podcast company and two entertainment giants.

  • Fanbyte, a Tencent-owned gaming news site, laid off staff including its editor-in-chief and head of media, per Kotaku.
  • G4, a video game talk show network that Comcast relaunched last year, laid off between 20 to 30 staffers, per Kotaku.
  • Future, a British media company, laid off editorial staff across several of its brands including TechRadar Gaming, Android Central, Windows Central and iMore, per GamesIndustry.biz.
  • Acast, a Swedish podcast hosting and monetization company, plans to lay off 15% of its staff or about 70 people over the coming weeks, per Bloomberg.
  • Netflix laid off 30 employees from its animation team, per Deadline.
  • Warner Bros. Discovery started a round of layoffs last week where it's expected to cut hundreds on the business side, Sara Fischer reports.

What they're saying: "While much of the country only worries about a recession, major media companies are cutting jobs or consolidating. Their stock prices have collapsed," Bloomberg's Christopher Palmeri wrote.

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