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Disney continues restructuring with job cuts in television group

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The Walt Disney Company is planning to eliminate about 175 positions in its Disney/ABC Television Group.  

The cuts are the latest in the Burbank-based media and entertainment giant’s overall restructuring plan.  In April, the company said it would trim as many as 150 positions at Walt Disney Studios.  The following month, its ESPN network began cutting between 300 and 400 positions. 

“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 Television Group spokesman said Wednesday 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.”

The spokesman did not confirm the number positions that media reports have indicated as slated for elimination - roughly 175 out of  the group’s workforce of 7,600 at the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Television Network, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, ABC Entertainment Group, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Family as well as Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution.

Citing unnamed sources, Variety and other media outlets say most of the positions being eliminated are in technical operations and at the eight local television stations owned by the group. In addition to KABC in Los Angeles,  Disney/ABC owns stations in San Francisco, Fresno, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, and Raleigh-Durham, NC.

“The television group is just kind of the next in line in terms of looking for efficiencies,” said says Morningstar analyst Michael Corty.  "The television station business is undergoing a lot of changes just depending on what the landscape looks like over the next 10 years for 'pay' television and where broadcast stations fit into that group."  

In its most recent earnings statement on August 6, Disney reported a net income of $1.85 billion for the quarter that ended June 29, a 1% rise from a year earlier.