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HBO Announces Layoffs

3/31/2004 4:00 PM Eastern

Industry consolidation forced Home Box Office to lay off approximately 40 employees earlier this week as part of a restructuring effort.

The layoffs were isolated to middle-management employees in the network’s subscriber-marketing and sales departments, according to sources close to the network.

HBO president of sales and marketing Eric Kessler said in a prepared statement, "In response to the consolidation in the cable industry, we restructured last year to an account-based organization and have since been evaluating our staffing needs. The new structure enables us to maintain the high level of support to our affiliates that they have come to expect from HBO while operating on a more efficient basis."

The move follows similar cuts last year at HBO rivals Showtime Networks Inc., which laid off 10% of its work force, and Starz Encore Group LLC, which eliminated 100 positions and closed four regional offices due to consolidation among the industry’s MSOs.

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