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Hundreds Accept 21st Century Fox Buyouts

Between 300 and 400 21st Century Fox employees have accepted voluntary buyouts. Employees were informed back in February that they had until May 23 to accept the offer, as the company announced it needed to reduce staff overheads by $250 million by the 2017 fiscal year, which begins in July 2016.

The buyouts were offered to both employees at the Fox Networks Group and the 20th Century Fox film studio in Century City.

According to a report in Variety, the number of people who chose to take the buyout packages represents half the employees who were offered the option.

Back in February, 21st Century Fox issued a statement that said, “As we position 21CF for the future, we want to ensure our organization remains agile and structured to fully capture the many opportunities ahead of us. With this we are looking across our film and television businesses to transform certain functions and to reduce costs. As part of this process, which is in its early stages, today some colleagues from Fox Networks Group and 20th Century Fox will be offered a generous benefit package if they opt to voluntarily leave the company.”

Peter Rice, chairman and CEO of the Fox Networks Group, issued a memo to employees in February that read, in part:

“Our industry is changing rapidly, presenting new challenges and even more opportunities at every turn. For a company that has always embraced change and innovation, these are exciting times. To ensure we make the most of this new world, we need to adjust, adapt, and organize for the future. With this in mind, through the remainder of this fiscal year, we will be undertaking some structural changes, increasing investment in some parts of the company while making cost reductions in other areas.

During the past 18 months, we have aligned our company around our core consumer-facing brands: reorganizing Fox Sports; expanding FX Networks; bringing together Twentieth Century Fox Television and FBC; uniting our ad sales teams into a leaner and more agile operation; purchasing True X; creating the new National Geographic Partners; and, most recently, restructuring our international channels to capitalize on our expertise in major regions.

As the next step in this reorganization, colleagues who fit a specific set of criteria will be offered a generous benefit package if they decide to voluntarily resign from the company, effective May 23, 2016.

I realize change is difficult, but we will be stronger if we take this opportunity to position our organization for the future. This is the right thing to do for our business because although technology is rapidly changing our world, the global hunger for our brands and content will continue unabated and making the right decisions now will provide our company with many exciting opportunities for continued growth and success.”

Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film, also issued a memo at the same time, that read, in part:

“As we all know, the film industry is facing many significant changes, and we are no exception. While we continue to succeed on many fronts, such as garnering an extraordinary 30 Academy Awards nominations and; last year, setting an all-time industry box office record, we must be cognizant of the industry’s transformation and position ourselves to continue our success in this new environment.

To that end, we are reviewing our organizational structure and looking at potential cost reductions to position us for sustained future growth.

As we embark on this review, we are taking the opportunity to offer 20th Century Fox colleagues who have extended tenure an enhanced benefit package if they elect to voluntarily resign from the company effective at the end of May 2016.

This comes at a time that is both exciting and challenging for the company. We are the best at what we do and will continue to excel, but we also have to be fearless about transforming, and embrace both change and opportunity.”

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