Maker Studios to Lay Off Staff After Disney Deal

Maker is slimming down after being bought by the studio

Maker Studios will lay off about 10 percent of its staff of 380, according to individuals familiar with the large network of online video channels. Maker is making the staffing changes after its acquisition by the Walt Disney Co. in a deal worth $500 million (and as much as $950 million).

Staffing changes are commonplace after a deal that size, especially for a company with as much overhead as Maker. Maker’s nearly 400 staffers span production, advertising sales, technology, merchandising and other sectors.

“Maker’s business is constantly evolving, and we routinely reassess our internal resources and make strategic adjustments, reducing staff in some areas while actively hiring in others,” Maker said in a statement.

It shares many synergies with Disney, which can help the network’s reach overseas and consumer products division while using Maker’s beach head on YouTube to promote its own stars and movies.

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Maker will still be hiring new employees in certain areas, and it did not specify where the current reductions will take place. Multi-channel networks such as Maker are often shuffling the decks as they invest more in some businesses and less in others.

Maker went through two rounds of layoffs last year — after Ynon Kreiz took over as CEO and after the company bought Blip. Other networks like Machinima and Big Frame also imposed some staffing changes to attract investors.

Maker never had a problem convincing investors of its value, raising more than $70 million before its deal with Disney.

Maker’s relationship with emerging talent, outsized presence on YouTube and general expertise in the digital space lured Disney, which has imposed layoffs on a much larger scale in its interactive division.