WWE confirmed today that it will make job cuts amounting to seven percent of its staff.
Initial reports suggested that the layoffs could reach 10 percent of the World Wrestling Entertainment workforce.
About 50 to 60 employees will reportedly lose their jobs (or already have) in the belt-tightening, as it were, which apparently is prompted by the underperformance of the new WWE subscription-based network and a decline in pay-per-view income.
It’s not just certain wrestlers that could lose their gig. The layoffs are also likely to affect those behind the scenes, i.e., production workers, marketing, travel, administration, IT, and other members of the office staff in addition to in-ring talent.
Evidently there was some understandable stress at the WWE headquarters in Stamford, Conn., today. If you’ve ever gone through a layoff, you can well appreciate how they must have felt. As a result, WWE CEO and impresario Vince McMahon reportedly sent an email to employees that “the staff reduction process is finished. If an employee was not notified about anything during the day, he or she is still employed [by] WWE.”
The What Culture website somewhat harshly claims that “As for those who lost their jobs, they were considered expendable workers in minor positions.” For someone regardless of his or her role in the organization who unfortunately was among the seven percent receiving a pink slip, however, the layoff must seem like 100 percent.
In a press release,WWE reported a second quarter net loss of $14.5 million and noted that after a comprehensive evaluation of operations, it identified cost-cutting measures in all of the company’s business units.
The company also stated that…
“We identified efficiencies across WWE, which include a 7% reduction in staff, and improved our 2015 [operating income before depreciation and amortization] outlook by $30 million. We developed plans to make WWE Network available in over 170 countries, and entered a 10-year deal that provides for the WWE Network launch as a traditional a-la-carte Pay-TV channel in Canada and renews our television licensing agreement for Raw and SmackDown. The progress in our strategic initiatives reinforces our view that successful execution of our WWE Network strategy can generate meaningful economic returns.”
Summarized McMahon: “WWE’s core business metrics remain strong.”
The WWE Network currently has 700,00 subscribers, but reportedly needs 1.3 million to make the venture profitable. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the company is rolling out a new payment option for network content at $20 a month cancellable at any time rather than the $9.99 monthly subscription requiring a six-month commitment.
The WWE Summer Slam pay-per-view event is scheduled for August 17.
If you’re a pro wrestling fan, are you considering signing up for the WWE Network? Apart from the bottom-line challenges in the wrestling industry, given the condition of the economy generally, as you surprised that there are job cuts at WWE?