Due to the uncertain economic situation directly impacting them and other media businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, WWE announced changes to their staffing, executive compensation packages, and more on Wednesday.
The news was delivered to employees on a brief, 12 PM Eastern conference call followed by the company sending out a press release. In the release, WWE said they conducted an analysis of operations over the last several weeks and identified some areas in which they will see short-term cost reductions and cash flow improvement.
Those areas: reducing executive and board member compensation; decreasing operating expenses; cutting talent expenses, third party staffing and consulting; deferring spend on the build out of the Company’s new headquarters for at least six months; and both layoffs and furloughing of a portion of their workforce immediately. That includes some of the talent roster.
Furloughing employees, a suspension in work without pay for a period if time vs. a permanent layoff, has been a constant since the economic impact of the pandemic really started hitting.
The call itself was said to last roughly five minutes with McMahon announcing several of the details above and that employees will receive texts about their standing in the company.
WWE said the changes will save them $4 million a month and give them a cash flow improvement of $140 million, mainly from the deferral in spending on their new offices. The release also said the company has approximately $500 million in cash and debt capacity to help them manage through the crisis.
McMahon suspended operations of the XFL last week and the league filed for bankruptcy on Monday. He also made the decision last Friday to return WWE to live programming vs. a taped model.
Their next investors call is set for Thursday, April 23rd. As of this writing, the stock was mainly unaffected by the news, trading at $38.01.