Disney-ABC Restructuring: A Sign of the Changing Entertainment Landscape

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Disney-ABC Restructuring: A Sign of the Changing Entertainment Landscape

Disney-ABC Adapts to the Digital Revolution

The entertainment industry is undergoing a significant transformation, with even the largest linear television networks having to adapt to the digital shift that is shaping the future of viewership. Disney-ABC is one such network, and they have embarked on a restructuring process that will impact not only their employees but also their viewers.

The restructuring is centered on the cable television and non-sports broadcast arm of the company. Although Disney-ABC anticipates that less than 10% of its workforce will be affected, this still represents a substantial number of employees. The majority of the job losses will be in operational sectors, as Disney-ABC seeks to automate more areas to make room for roles focused on new forms of content distribution, such as digital and on-demand viewing.

The Decline of Cable Television

As audiences increasingly turn to online and other digital channels, cable television is experiencing a slow decline, with subscriber numbers continuing to fall. Even some of ABC’s most popular shows, like American Idol, have seen a significant drop in viewership compared to their early seasons over a decade ago.

Despite the network’s efforts to attract top talent for its shows, including spending $25 million per season to secure Katy Perry as a judge on American Idol, it seems that Disney-ABC should concentrate more on investing in a robust digital and on-demand programming strategy.

Previous Restructuring Efforts

This is not the first time the network has had to make cuts to adapt to changing industry trends. In 2010, ABC News eliminated 400 jobs due to a dramatic decline in ratings. In 2013, Disney also implemented cuts in the home video, consumer products, and home marketing sectors. The need to reallocate resources from traditional roles to those better suited to the digital era was apparent then, and it is even more critical now if the company wants to remain a strong competitor in the entertainment industry.

Competing with Digital Giants

Companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have become the driving forces of the digital entertainment industry, and if Disney-ABC wants to stay relevant, they must make the necessary changes to restructure their company accordingly. Disney-ABC has already suffered more than just financial losses, as they recently lost one of their biggest producers and writers, Shonda Rhimes, to Netflix. Rhimes was the creative force behind some of ABC’s most successful shows, including Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. After a 15-year relationship, Rhimes left ABC to sign a multiyear contract with Netflix.

Producers and writers are not the only ones making the move to digital platforms, as we continue to see some of the biggest names in Hollywood appear on Netflix and Hulu’s upcoming features lists. It’s the logical direction for the industry, and unfortunately for many of Disney-ABC’s employees, it may mean updating their resumes and searching for new job opportunities.

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