Fox Seeks to Cut $250 Million in Costs Through Staff Buyouts

Aims To Achieve Savings In Fiscal 2017

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21st Century Fox Inc. is offering buyouts to film and TV employees as part of an effort to lower costs by $250 million.

The buyouts, which are in their early stages, were announced in memos Monday to employees from Peter Rice, the chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Networks Group, and Jim Gianopulos, head of filmed entertainment. Mr. Rice said the company is offering a "generous benefit package" to people who voluntarily resign by May 23.

The aim is to achieve those savings in fiscal 2017, which starts in July, according to a spokesman for Rupert Murdoch's media and entertainment company. Many media companies are facing pressure to reduce expenses because of shrinking audience ratings and the loss of pay-TV viewers to lower-cost alternatives like Netflix. Fox, based in New York, had 20,500 employees at the end of fiscal 2015.

"We will be undertaking some structural changes, increasing investment in some parts of the company while making cost reductions in other areas," Mr. Rice said.

Fox is adapting to the changes in the media landscape, Mr. Rice said. The cuts are focused at Fox Networks Group, which includes broadcast outlets, cable networks, sports, TV production, and 20th Century Fox, the film unit of 21st Century Fox, the spokesman said.

Both executives acknowledged the cuts were coming at a time when their respective businesses are healthy. Variety reported on the plan earlier Monday.

--Bloomberg News

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