By Jack Rico
Recently we heard many conversations about Hollywood being recession-proof. Doesn’t look like that’s the case for big honcho Harvey Weinstein, owner of The Weinsten Company. This goes to show you that no one is escaping the topsy-turvy times of the economy.
The Weinstein Co. has succumbed to the economic pressure by laying off 11% of its staff, or 24 people.
The indie outfit is slimming down from 224 people to 200. The cuts affected all departments in offices in Gotham, L.A., the U.K. and Hong Kong.
No offices or departments are being shuttered. Staffers were notified of the layoffs Friday afternoon.
Formed three years ago by Harvey and Bob Weinstein with more than $1 billion in backing from Goldman Sachs and other investors, TWC has had a bumpy ride. After a spate of deals across the media spectrum yielded spotty results, the company refocused on its film slate and has touted its official detachment in January from distrib partner MGM and a pay TV deal with Showtime.
The Weinstein slate, however, has not borne a lot of fruit. “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” the Kevin Smith-helmed comedy released on Halloween, is the latest under-performer. Woody Allen’s “Vicki Cristina Barcelona” is the only notable pic to far exceed expectations in 2008.
As the company seeks to get into a theatrical groove, it’s also been hit with a wave of staff turnover. Senior-level vets Glen Basner (international sales), Michelle Krumm (production) and Maeva Gatineau (U.K. acquisitions) are among those who have exited in recent months.
Matthew Frankel, who spent just a few months heading corporate communications, departed in the spring (he’s since resurfaced at AOL) and has not officially been replaced.