Quotable: AMC Networks’ monetization plans are “in disarray”

“As I am sure you are aware our industry has been under pressure from growing subscriber losses. This is primarily due to “cord cutting.” At the same time we have seen the rise of direct to consumer streaming apps including our own AMC+. It was our belief that cord cutting losses would be offset by gains in streaming. This has not been the case. We are primarily a content company and the mechanisms for the monetization of content are in disarray.

It is for that reason that myself and the Board of Directors of AMC Networks have concluded that we as a company need to conserve our resources at this time. We have directed the executive leadership of AMC Networks to undergo significant cutbacks in operations. These will include a large-scale layoff as well as cuts to every operating area of AMC Networks.”

- Excerpt from a memo that James Dolan, CEO of AMC’s parent company MSG Entertainment, sent to the staff, as obtained by IndieWire


AMC Networks is not the only one feeling the streaming pressure

After the pandemic-fuelled boom subsided, the entertainment industry has not been able to sustain the same monumental growth. Companies have had to shuffle management, reduce headcounts, and temper the expectations of shareholders.


Warner Bros and Discovery

Since the Warner Bros-Discovery merger was completed in April, costcutting has been a top agenda item—and employees are bearing the brunt. There have been several layoffs across various departments including Warner Bros television, the HBO and HBO Max teams, ad sales operations staff, and IT personnel.


Separately, content is also on the chopping table. By the summer of 2023, Warner Bros’ HBO Max and Discovery+ will merge into a single streaming service, likely to cut back on original programming and the expenses that come with it. Since the April merger, the company has reportedly cut back on $825 million worth of content, including shelving the $90 million Batgirl after it was shot.


After Disney brought back former CEO Bob Iger to pull its loss-making Disney+ streaming service out of the doldrums, he doubled down on the hiring freeze at the company. Layoffs are reportedly on the table, too.



Netflix laid off 150 staffers in May, and another 300 in June. In the first two quarters of the year, it was bleeding subscribers because of stiff competition and password sharing. It rebounded in the second half of the year, and started an ad-supported tier of subscriptions to boost revenues. It also has plans to turn one weakness into a strength: Starting in early 2023, Netflix will start charging for password sharing.



In October, Criterion—an industry leader in manufacturing laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray editions of prestige movies, which launched a streaming service in 2019—dismissed 16 of its 80 employees.


Nexstar and the CW

In November, a month after Nexstar closed its acquisition of the CW, it laid off between 30 and 40 people. The CW’s CEO, Mark Pedowitz, who had been leading the channel since 2011, was among the first to leave on the day of the acquisition.


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