For Disney employees, the forecast on Friday was for pain. Lots of it. The expected synergies to come from Disney’s $52.4 billion purchase of most of Twenty-First Century Fox’s assets could mean job cuts of between 5,000 and 10,000 at the Mouse House once the deal closes, one media analyst said. Disney, in announcing the dramatic acquisition on Thursday, said it expected “synergies” in combining the Fox assets with its own to range up to $2 billion.
Synergies are often code for layoffs.
But BTIG media analyst Rich Greenfield, in a report, said the synergies could swell to $2.5 billion. The analyst explained that “a portion of the cost cuts will come from a reduction in film and television products as the combined company culls down to the best overall products with termination of projects resulting in less hiring.” To get to its $2 billion goal, Disney will have to cut well over 5,000 jobs, Greenfield said. That number could range as high as 10,000. Disney declined to comment on the job cut estimate. A source with knowledge of the deal said Greenfield “has zero Greenfield’s report also took aim at President Trump, who, according to White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, believes the media mega-deal “could be a great thing for jobs.” “We believe the vast majority of yesterday’s comments were #fakenews,” Greenfield shot back in his report, before turning to what he called another “disturbing” detail when it comes to the White House’s stance on the merger between AT&T and Time Warner. The Department of Justice is suing to block the massive $85.4 billion merger — which is the Trump administration’s first major antitrust enforcement action. “What makes yesterday’s Disney/Fox statements even more disturbing is that the government is suing to stop AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner,” Greenfield wrote on his firm’s blog Friday. The DOJ is suing to stop the AT&T-Time Warner deal, in part because it claims the combined firm would lead to higher prices. The analyst said the Disney-Fox deal “will most certainly lead to higher consumer prices, bigger and fatter video bundles, less upstart virtual multichannel video programming distributors competition and a meaningful reduction in jobs.”10