AMC Network said today it will take write-downs for up to $475 million as it restructures its business to cut costs. That includes up to $400 million for content-related moves it calls “strategic programming assessments” and $75 million for organizational restructuring costs including severance.
The shakeup at the Dolan-controlled company came Tuesday as CEO Christina Spade stepped down and the company announced plans to lay off 20% of its U.S. staff, or about 200 people. Chairman James Dolan sent a dire memo to staff, the gist of which was reiterated in an SEC filing today. It said AMC Networks started a restructuring on Monday, aiming to “achieve significant cost reductions, in light of ‘cord cutting’ and the related impacts being felt across the media industry as well as the broader economic outlook. The plan encompasses initiatives that will include, among other things, strategic programming assessments and organizational restructuring costs.”
It said the “programming assessments pertain to a broad mix of owned and licensed content, including legacy television series and films that will no longer be in active rotation on the company’s linear or digital platforms.” It’s not immediately clear which titles are part of the write-downs.
AMC may “realize some future licensing and other revenue associated with some of the owned titles.”
Breaking down the number, the company estimates it will incur approximately $350 million to $475 million in pre-tax restructuring charges comprised of: strategic programming assessments leading to content charges of approximately $300 million to $400 million; and organizational restructuring costs, including severance, retention and other costs, of approximately $50 million to $75 million.
Deadline reported earlier today that those leaving as part of the layoffs include David Stefanou, SVP Original Programming & Development for WE tv, who led the development team in creating shows such as the hit Love After Lockup franchise; as well as Marco Bresaz, SVP of non-fiction & alternative programming for AMC and SundanceTV, who helped oversee both networks’ original non-fiction programming development and their portfolio of current non-fiction programming.
Of the amounts above, the estimated cash expenditures resulting from the restructuring are estimated to be in the range of approximately $75 million to $100 million, the majority of which will be made in 2023.