The television division of the Walt Disney Company announced Thursday that it would eliminate about 400 jobs from its work force of 6,500 to 7,000, as part of a cost-cutting effort to deal with what it called a weakening economy.
The job cuts will affect all the departments of the Disney-ABC Television Group, as the division is called. Disney-ABC did not release any specific breakdown of the job cuts, though one ABC News executive said that 37 news jobs were included in the reductions.
No ABC executives would offer any other details of the layoffs on the record, but one senior executive said that although 400 jobs were being eliminated, only 200 active workers will be laid off. The other 200 jobs had been vacant and will not be filled, the executive said.
The announcement comes one day after another Disney TV division, the cable sports channel ESPN, announced it would eliminate 200 jobs within the next year. ESPN did not rule out layoffs but said the goal was to reach that number by attrition.
Both Anne Sweeney, the president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, and George Bodenheimer, the ESPN chief executive, cited worsening economic conditions for the job contractions. Mr. Bodenheimer also said he was freezing the salaries of the channel’s top executives.
In a memo to ABC employees, Ms. Sweeney said, “After months of making hard decisions across our businesses to help us adjust to a weakening economy, we’re now faced with the harsh reality of having to eliminate jobs in some areas.”