When Big Media Makes Big Cost Cuts & Claims Business Is Good

U.S. TV and movie companies are doing great. So — why are big U.S. media companies continuing to make cutbacks?

The latest news comes from 21st Century Fox, announcing some $250 million in cost cutting savings. To be sure, all companies -- media or not -- make big changes, realignments, streamlining efforts. Fox is no different.

Peter Rice, chief executive officer of Fox Networks Group, said in a memo on Monday: “This restructuring is coming at a time when all of our businesses are hitting new heights, which I know may be confusing.”

Rice talked about the network’s airing of “Grease Live”; the revival of its series, “The X-Files”; and the still-high-performing NFL Championships and playoffs, as examples.

Well, some business is good. Fox continues to lag a bit deeper than other networks when it comes to some TV metrics -- like viewership, despite its strong “Empire” series.



Movie studio-wise? As with many media companies, there are plenty of ups and downs -- depending on the season and scheduling. Fox landed in fourth place in the 2015 season -- with an 11.3% market share and $1.3 billion for releasing 17 movies, according to Box Office Mojo.

Still, overall Fox filmed entertainment has seen a 2% decline in fiscal year ending 2015. Other traditional media companies have witnessed similar declines.

Count on fewer DVD sales, lower overall long-term national TV advertising revenues, and further anticipation of “cord-cutting” of pay TV packages, which will result in lower distribution fees for media companies.

Rice writes: “I realize change is difficult.”

Big time media executives get paid lots of money to figure out the future. That can be a difficult piece of the puzzle for them. The current TV puzzle remains: Are traditional media businesses in a really good place -- or what?

Next story loading loading..