More staffers are heading for the exits at Disney. The studio confirmed on May 16 that there would be more job cuts at both Walt Disney Studios and the 20th Century Fox film unit that Disney acquired in March. The company would not specify the number of layoffs or provide any information about which of its divisions would be the hardest hit. The Los Angeles Times cited sources that put the number of dismissals at “several dozen.” A report on Deadline says that the departures include 20th Century Fox EVP of marketing Carol Sewell, Fox EVP of global marketing partnerships Mary Goss Robino and SVP of corporate communications Chelsey Sumney. The new round of cuts follows an earlier batch of terminations that were announced two days after the Fox-Disney deal closed. The downsizing of the merged company’s workforce is part of a drive to realize approximately $2 billion in cost savings, which Disney says are needed to pay back some of the debt that it took on to finance the acquisition.
Condé Nast has found a suitor to tie the knot with Brides magazine. Dotdash, part of Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp, is purchasing the publication, although terms of the deal have not been made public. As part of the move, Brides will be shedding its print edition, joining a long list of publications that have made the transition to digital-only properties. “We’re not buying this for print,” Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel told the New York Times. “We’re buying this for the editorial team and for digital.” Lisa Gooder, the magazine’s current executive director, is taking on the title of general manager and continuing to oversee strategy and content. Most of the Brides editorial staff are also expected to keep their jobs. While Brides has lost four percent of its print readers over the past five years, it will still end its print run with a circulation of more than 300,000. With the sale of Golf Digest to Discovery earlier this week, W remains the last of the three titles Condé Nast put on the auction block last year that has yet to sell.
The Hugh Hefner Foundation presented its annual First Amendment Awards on May 15 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The awards recognized seven “free speech heroes” whose efforts help protect and enhance First Amendment rights and raise awareness of modern-day challenges to freedom of speech and expression. Recipients included Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., who worked to restore CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials, and Grace Marion, former editor-in-chief of The Playwickian, her high-school newspaper, who fought against school censorship after she saw about a dozen articles censored. Floyd Abrams, who has argued many significant First Amendment cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.