WWE to Cut Seven Percent of Staff

Aug 1, 2014

WWE Ceo Vince McMahon in 2009.
Credit Mark Hodgins / Creative Commons

World Wrestling Entertainment will cut seven percent of its workforce, as it continues its efforts to remake the company. 

Stamford-based WWE reported a loss for the second quarter. It’s currently grappling with a 25 percent slide in its share price, and a less than impressive ramp up for its streaming online video network. 

CEO Vince McMahon made the announcement on a conference call with analysts. "We developed plans to improve our 2015 business outlook by some $30 million," he said, "which includes a seven percent reduction in staffing, and efficiencies across all of our operations -- perhaps something we should have done some time ago. We remain very optimistic about the growth of our company."

A seven percent reduction means around 60 people will receive pink slips. The company said layoffs will begin immediately, and will come across all of its business units.

WWE made a big bet on its online Network service as a way to generate new revenue, but as of the second quarter it has only 700,000 subscribers, short of the one million it said it needs to break even. 

The company announced new pricing structures as a way to entice new subscribers, and said it will roll out the service internationally in coming months. It’s currently projecting a loss of about $20 million this year because of the cost of starting the network.

WWE’s loss in the second quarter was smaller than analysts had been expecting, and the company’s share price got a boost Thursday on that news.