Warner Music Layoffs Tied To Digital Restructuring; Creates New Programming Unit

Warner Music Group is expected to layoff about 400 staffers as the company looks to focus more on its digital efforts, Billboard Biz reports. Unnamed sources told Billboard Biz that the layoffs will be staggered, rather than all coming down at once.

The company plans to simultaneously invest in new initiatives, including more hires for its digital operations. On Monday, WMG said it was creating a new production division designed to develop and produce original programming for network, cable, DVD, broadband and mobile platforms. The LA-based division, named Den of Thieves, will work with WMG’s record labels, which include Atlantic, Elektra, Bad Boy and Rykodisc, among others, to create content for distribution around its artists’ releases and special projects. Secondly, Den of Thieves will explore original programming and opportunities beyond WMG’s roster in an effort to broaden the scope of content created by WMG and its labels.

The new unit will be led by MTV veteran Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager, a music industry exec who has worked at Epic Records and Def Jam. Release