A day after it announced its deal to sell a majority stake to Canadian programmer Anthem Sports and Entertainment, AXS TV has laid off at least 40 employees, including most of the workers in its Dallas office as the ink barely dried on the transaction.
Anthem agreed to buy a majority stake in AXS TV and HDNet Movies, two cable networks owned by internet guru Mark Cuban, for an undisclosed sum on Sept. 9. AXS TV and HDNet Movies have about 100 employees. But according to The Wrap, quoting Anthem spokesman Bob Gold of PR firm Bob Gold & Associates, about 40 people were let go, mostly in redundant positions to those at Anthem and that those layoffs were in the works for about six months.
Multichannel News had attempted Tuesday to confirm rumors that AXS TV had let go about 40 employees, but Anthem and its PR firm would not confirm the number at the time.
The Wrap reported that in addition to most of the Dallas office being let go, about one-quarter of employees at AXS TV offices in Los Angeles were jettisoned, as were most of its team in Denver.
At least two relatively high profile executives were on that list -- long-time cable publicist Cindy Ronzoni and New Japan Wrestling executive producer and AXS TV VP of business and legal affairs Adam Swift, who tweeted about their departures yesterday.
Wrestling fans have also been on top of the transaction, with wrestling.com citing the closure of the Dallas office Tuesday.
The Wrap reported that about one-quarter of employees at AXS TV offices in Los Angeles were let go, and most of its team in Denver.