As COVID-19 reshapes our economy, our newsletter will help you unpack the news from the day.
The proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced this week has a lot of people wondering about customers’ cable bills. But what about the two companies’ thousands of employees? In typical corporate speak, Comcast says the deal will create about $1.5 billion in “operating efficiencies.” Translation: layoffs are coming.
The companies will still need drivers and installers and sales reps in most of the same places. As Comcast CEO Brian Roberts put it, the companies don’t even operate in the same zip codes. Instead, a lot of the cuts will come at the top, says industry analyst Jeff Kagan.
“You only need one CEO, you only need one CFO, you only need one of all of the different heads of departments,” Kagan says. “So there’s plenty of room for them to cut.”
That doesn’t mean layoffs aren’t coming further down the chain, though. More and more people are cutting the cord and watching their TV on Netflix or online.
“I can’t imagine that there won’t be some cuts even at those lower levels, because we are talking about an industry that is under some threat,” says Batia Wiesenfeld, professor of management and organizations at NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Wiesenfeld says the merger – if it goes through – may just speed things up, as management makes sure the new company is as lean as it needs to be, given shrinking customer demand.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.