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(March 28, 2001) -- Following similar moves by other major media companies, the Walt Disney Co. will cut 4,000 full-time jobs, or about 3% of its workforce, because of what it says is a "softening economic environment."

Executives say the staff reductions are initially planned to be voluntary and would save the company $350 million to $400 million a year. The company will take a one-time charge of less than $250 million. Stock market analysts have cited the move as prudent in a weakening economy. Though Disney's stock moved up $1.28 to close at $29.20 Tuesday, the day of the announcement, its stock has fallen to $27.85 in mid-day trading today. -- Wayne Friedman

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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