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Warner Bros. to lay off up to 300 workers

Warner Bros. aims to lay off about 5 percent of its staff from movie, television and other operations in an effort to cut costs as it faces slower growth in DVD sales despite a solid year at box offices.
/ Source: Reuters

Warner Bros. aims to lay off about 5 percent of its staff from movie, television and other operations in an effort to cut costs as it faces slower growth in DVD sales despite a solid year at box offices.

Some 250 to 300 people were given pink slips Tuesday, and as many as 150 more jobs will be excised from the studio over the next few days.

The studio employs around 4,500 workers in the Los Angeles area and 8,000 worldwide.

Warner Bros. said in a statement it was taking the action ”to position the company for growth.”

The cuts come as the film and TV studio’s corporate parent, Time Warner Inc., Wednesday posted an 80 percent jump in quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, and a 6 percent rise in revenues.

“We acknowledge that these decisions have affected people’s livelihoods and to that end, we examined every aspect of our business in order to cut costs responsibly and to keep staff reductions to a minimum,” Warner Bros. said in its statement.

Last month. sources inside the company said the studio had begun a review of its operations with an eye toward cutting jobs and reducing costs.

Warner Bros. film operations have enjoyed a solid year at the box office with hits like “Batman Begins,” and the studio has high hopes for “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which is set to land in theaters later this month.

But the once hot market for DVDs has recently shown signs of cooling off, raising concern across Hollywood that a round of belt-tightening may be in the future.