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Disney restructures specialty film label Miramax Films

October 2, 2009 |  1:40 pm

Walt Disney Studios is dramatically scaling back its specialty film label Miramax Films, slashing 50 jobs, cutting back the number of movies it releases and consolidating its marketing, distribution, operations and administrative support functions into the parent studio in Burbank.

Miramax President Daniel Battsek will continue to oversee development, production and business and legal affairs out of the unit's New York offices. Battsek, the British executive who was handpicked by recently ousted Disney Studios chief Dick Cook to run the company four years ago, will report to Cook's soon-to-be-announced successor.

With the elimination of 50 positions, some 20 people will be left to work out of MIramax's New York and Los Angeles offices.

The move, which had been anticipated, will see Miramax cut its annual release slate in half. The distributor will now release just three films a year, down from six to eight.

"This restructuring maximizes operating efficiencies and provides significant cost savings while allowing Miramax to focus on its greatest strength: the creation of high-quality entertainment," said Disney Studios President Alan Bergman.

Disney is the latest major media company, including Time Warner, Viacom and News Corp., to either scale back or shutter its low-profit margin-specialty label in recent times.

Update (Oct. 3, 12:30 PM): For more on the Miramax restructuring, see the story in today's Times.

--Claudia Eller

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