Fast Company is reporting, in a reed-thin update to their obit for Miramax, that the Weinstein Co. is laying off 30 people today. We're trying to confirm, but people familiar with the firm say insiders were bracing for another round.
If true, it's ironic to say the least that the Weinsteins are unleashing yet another round of what seem like perennial mass layoffs on the day after Disney shuttered Miramax, the company they founded in 1979 and sold off. The Weinstein Company, which is suffering under the colossal failure of Nine and the limited upside they're getting from Inglourious Basterds' success, was granted a reprieve by creditors last month, largely because the company insuring the debt that the brothers founded the company with is barely solvent itself, so what's the point of calling it in?
People close to the company say that, given the fact that a lot of contracts likely expired on December 31, the 30 figure probably includes people who simply didn't renew in addition to staffers who were actually fired. Weinstein is said to have a little over 100 employees.
Given the fact that Harvey Weinstein is at the mercy of his creditors, who have urged him with some success to cut costs and bail out of the company's ill-considered ancillary businesses like book publishing and luxury Facebooks, we expect that he won't work very hard to keep layoffs quiet. He's more concerned with impressing the people he owes money to than his (largely destroyed) reputation at this point.