Starz to Lay Off More Than 10% of Staff, Exit U.K. and Australia Amid Separation From Lionsgate

As Starz prepares to separate from parent company Lionsgate in 2024, it will reduce its staff of roughly 670 employees by more than 10%.

Starz will also cease business operations in the both the U.K. and Australia. This follows the cable and streaming company’s recent exit from Latin America, as announced in Lionsgate’s August earnings call. At the time, the move was described as a strategic decision to focus on the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

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The news of the layoffs and withdrawal came in a memo sent to staffers by Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch on Friday followed by a company-wide town hall meeting. “We are making these changes to align our organization with the growth areas of the business and to prepare us for our next chapter as a standalone company,” he said in his email.

Lionsgate first acquired Starz in 2016. Starz was set to separate from the television and motion picture group in September of this year, though the August earnings call revealed that the move was being delayed to the first quarter of 2024 due to Lionsgate’s $500 million acquisition of eOne — owned by Hasbro until the transaction closes later this year — as well as uncertainties caused by the Hollywood strikes.

This is the latest in a series of recent layoffs across Hollywood. Other impacted companies include Fifth Season, which reduced its staff by 12% in August, HBO/Max, which had double-digit cuts in the marketing department in August, and Anonymous Content, which laid off 8% of staffers in October.

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