It’s the first major TV layoff following close of merger
The Disney-Fox merger has claimed its first high-level TV executive. Greg Meidel is out as president of Twentieth Television, the distribution and syndication arm under 20th Century Fox TV.
Meidel had been head of Twentieth Television since 2009. He also oversaw MyNetworkTV, which stayed behind with Fox Corporation after the deal. During his tenure, Meidel helped land massive off-network syndication deals for “Modern Family” at USA Network and “The Simpsons” at FX.
The massive layoffs on Thursday have been particularly heavy on the film side. Fox head of distribution Chris Aronson and president of international distribution Andrew Cripps, were both let go.
The marketing team at the studio was also gutted, with Pam Levine, Fox’s president of worldwide theatrical marketing part of the layoffs. Kevin Campbell, co-president of worldwide theatrical marketing was also let go. Marketing guru and chief content officer Tony Sella was also laid off, along with Heather Phillips, executive vice president and head of domestic publicity; Mike Dunn, president of product strategy and consumer business development; and Dan Berger, executive vice president of corporate communications.
Additionally, Disney is shutting down the Fox 2000 label, run by Elizabeth Gabler. The division will close its doors after Joe Wright’s “The Woman in the Window,” which stars Amy Adams and Gary Oldman. Disney will complete films in production now, but it is unclear what this means for Gabler and the rest of her team going forward.
The layoffs are expected to eventually impact as many as 4,000 jobs.
On Wednesday, Disney closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s film and TV entertainment assets. Now starts the arduous process of merging the two giant companies.