Discovery Communications Plans Layoffs to Cut Costs

Personnel moves should cost the company between $40 million and $60 million

David Zaslav Discovery

Discovery Communications will lay off employees this year as part of a cost-savings plan, the company revealed Wednesday in an SEC filing.

Beyond personnel cuts, other actions will include some restructuring and budget reallocations.

Severance pay and other voluntary buyout actions should cost the company between $40 million and $60 million. However, Discovery could incur additional cash and non-cash costs from other parts of its overall plan.

All costs will be recognized in fiscal 2016, and the personnel moves are expected to be “substantially complete” by the end of 2016’s third quarter.

The bigger-picture plan is an effort “intended to enable the company to more efficiently operate in a leaner and more directed cost structure and invest in growth initiatives, including digital services and content creation,” Discovery stated in the legal filing.

Discovery Communications employees were informed of the plan today; it was officially signed off on last week.

Company stock has been hurting lately. Since a split in August 2014, DISCA shares are down about 37 percent to date.

CEO David Zaslav (pictured, above) has done his part to cut costs — kind of. The executive’s full compensation package dropped 79 percent from 2014 to 2015. However, Zaslav’s massive $156.08 million haul in 2014 mostly came about as part of a renegotiation package, one that included $94 million in stocks and options. He made $33.3 million in 2015.