AMC Networks says restructuring charges could hit US$475m

AMC Networks Inc., which announced plans to terminate 20% of its US staff on Tuesday, said it will incur between $350 million and $475 million in pretax restructuring charges over the next year, as the company looks to better position itself in the current TV climate.

The charges include as much as $75 million in employee severance, retention and other costs, and $400 million in content expenses, according to a filing Thursday.

The company said earlier this week that cost savings were necessary as its traditional TV networks lose viewers to new online TV options. Its chief executive officer, Christina Spade, also stepped down. AMC is evaluating its programming lineup with an eye toward taking some legacy TV series and films out of rotation, it said in the filing.

Cash expenses associated with the restructuring are estimated to be between $75 million and $100 million. It expects the reorganization to be completed by the end of next year.

AMC, home to the BBC America, Sundance and IFC channels, as well as its namesake network, this month ran the final episode of The Walking Dead, one of its biggest hits. The company has several spinoffs of that program, and is building out a franchise around horror author Anne Rice’s work.

The company is controlled by New York’s Dolan family, who also run the New York Knicks, Rangers and Madison Square Garden arena. – BLOOMBERG