FremantleMedia, formerly Pearson Television, has laid off a number of people in its New York office.
A company spokesperson, attributing the executive departures to Fremantle's ongoing re-structuring and the current "softness in the market," said that 10 people at most will be leaving. No one will be affected at Fremantle's Los Angeles location, which includes its top entertainment executive David Lyle. Likewise, none of the New York lay-offs are department heads - Joe Scotti, Fremantle's New York-based president of domestic distribution and marketing will stay put.
The spokesperson declined to name anyone specific, but said the people leaving were lower level sales and general administration executives. This round of staff cuts follows June's housecleaning, when 15 to 20 L.A.-based personnel, also many in administration, were let go.
Fremantle's reorganization (which encompasses the name change) is a result how its new European-based parent, the RTL Group, wants to do business. RTL sees the future of Fremantle in light entertainment programming, rather than in action hours like its now canceled series Baywatch.
RTL sees a declining international appetite for action hours and is looking to scale back on its production in the genre - so it feels it can become more efficient by slimming down its corporate ranks. - Susanne Ault