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  • Writer's pictureCarlo Manel

Starz to Cut Over 10% of Workforce

Starz, the premium network and soon-to-be publicly traded entity, is implementing workforce reductions of more than 10% and discontinuing its operations in Australia and the U.K.

CEO Jeffrey Hirsch of Starz conveyed this news in an email to employees, as reported by CNBC on Friday. Starz currently employs approximately 670 individuals, and Hirsch also addressed the staff in a companywide town hall meeting.

While the precise number of job cuts remains undisclosed, a person familiar with the situation indicated that the reduction will be in the high double digits, but less than 100. A Starz spokesperson declined to provide specific numbers but verified the authenticity of the staff communication.

Lionsgate and Starz have operated as a unified entity since December 2016, when Lionsgate acquired Starz for $4.4 billion. However, this corporate alliance is slated to conclude in the first quarter when Lionsgate is set to become a distinct publicly traded company.

"We are making these changes to align our organization with the growth areas of the business and to prepare us for our next chapter as a standalone company," Hirsch explained in the memo.

Lionsgate's stock surged more than 7% on Friday.

In the previous quarter, Starz announced its intention to withdraw from the Latin American market, concentrating its efforts on the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Exiting the U.K. will streamline the company's operations and potentially position it for potential mergers or acquisitions involving other U.S.-based media assets, such as A&E Networks or Paramount Global's BET.

Additionally, Starz is integrating its Canadian business into its U.S. operations.

At the close of the last quarter, Starz boasted approximately 12 million domestic streaming subscribers and a total customer base of around 20 million, encompassing those who subscribe through traditional pay TV services. The company has distinguished itself by catering to female and Black audiences, featuring popular series like "Outlander" and "Power."

Lionsgate is scheduled to announce its third-quarter earnings on Thursday.

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