Discovery Communications, parent company of such television stars as Discovery Channel and Animal Planet announced a 200 person layoff today with more cuts likely in the coming months (200 persons = ~3% of their global work force). Most of the layoffs affect the Washington, DC area.
According to Discovery, the restructuring is necessary for building a ’strong brand and creating a lean, aggressive company that can successfully compete in the cable and new-media industries.’ David Leavy, Executive VP stated that the move will allow Discovery to ’take advantage of new opportunities across television and digital platforms.’ Chief Executive David M. Zaslav stated the cuts are necessary to ’reallocate resources’ and position the media company for its digital future.’Â�
According to the Washington Post, ’Discovery faces competition from sites such as YouTube and Yahoo’ My question is: do they really? I doubt people are watching 10 minute clips of documentaries on YouTube. To an extent, Discovery has already been proactive ’â€œ for example, they have a deal with Joost (I finally got a sneak peak) but when real jobs are on the line a company needs to have a definitive strategy. Simply looking to take advantage of ’new media opportunities’ sounds lame to me.
You have to wonder if there is really a need for ’resource re-allocation’ or just a more competent management team.