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Focus Features Starts Laying Off Staff Amid Leadership Shakeup

The new Focus Features team and Universal are still determining which staffers from FilmDistrict and Focus will stick around

Focus Features has begun laying off staffers in New York and Los Angeles, part of a larger process in which Universal and new Focus boss Peter Schlessel determine which staffers will stay and which will go.

Layoffs have been expected ever since Universal announced earlier this month it was retooling Focus Features and bringing in Schlessel, the CEO of FilmDistrict, to run the show. As part of that process, Focus is moving from New York to Los Angeles.

The company will retain a small presence in New York while some New York staffers are being asked to move to Los Angeles and others are losing their jobs. Specific names have been hard to come by.

Also read: Andrew Karpen Out in Focus Features Leadership Shakeup

Though FilmDistrict employees hold most of the top executive positions, several close to Focus have told TheWrap that employees will be balanced between Focus and FilmDistrict staffers.

Though cuts will come at both companies, more at Focus will lose their job. Focus had more than 100 employees while FilmDistrct had between 40 and 45.

The new Focus will have “a small percentage less” than the 100+ it had before, according to one of those individuals.

Deadline Hollywood reported earlier on Monday that Focus’ London office might close, but no official decision has been made just yet.