Walt Disney Plans Layoffs at ABC TV Group

The Company Plans to Eliminate 175 Positions

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Walt Disney will eliminate about 175 jobs at its ABC TV Group, as it looks to adjust to new technology and changes in viewership, a person familiar with the situation confirmed.

This comes after the Mickey Mouse company revealed plans to lay off more than 300 staffers at ESPN in May. It has also eliminated hundreds of jobs across Walt Disney Studio, LucasArt and Lucasfilm as it looks to streamline operations and cut redundancies.

The new round of cuts threaten staffers at the Disney/ABC Television Group, which aside from the flagship broadcast network, also includes cable networks like ABC Family and Disney Channel as well as owned-and-operated stations, according to the person familiar with the situations. The Disney/ABC Television Group employs around 7,600 people.

The majority of the pink slips are expected to be doled out to those in operations as well as those at its eight local stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh Durham and Fresno, the person said.

"As technological advances continue to alter the competitive landscape and viewer habits, it's incumbent upon us to stay ahead of the curve," a Disney/ABC TV spokesman said in a statement. "To that end, we've undergone a review of our organizational structures and processes, and have re-imagined and realigned certain areas and functions to gain efficiencies and better position us for future growth."

In 2010, ABC News let go of about 400 people as it looked to revamp its news business. Since then, ABC's "Good Morning America" has overtaken NBC's "Today" in ratings and its evening newscast "World News Tonight" is closing the gap between NBC's "Nightly News."

ABC ended the 2012-2013 season ranked fourth among broadcasters in the all-important 18-to-49 demo.

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