STUDIO WORKERS FEAR FOR JOBS.Byline: Chip Jacobs and Lee Condon Daily News Staff Writers
Federal regulators may have blessed Time Warner's buyout of Turner Broadcasting System Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (often abbreviated TBS Networks or TBS, inc.) is the company managing the collection of cable networks and properties started by Robert Edward "Ted" Turner from the mid-1970s to the late-1990s. , but actor Egypt Thompson wasn't jumping for joy over the $6.8 billion deal.
Before the two conglomerates decided to form the world's biggest media and entertainment concern, there was more job potential out there, said Thompson, who works on the Warner Bros BROS Brothers
BROS Benefits and Retirement Operations Section (King County, Washington)
BROS Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society (London, UK) . sitcom, ``Hangin' With Mr. Cooper Hangin' with Mr. Cooper is an American television sitcom that originally aired on ABC from 1992 to 1997, starring Mark Curry and Holly Robinson. The show took place in Oakland, California. .''
Now the workplace plot may be rewritten.
``There (was) a chance for more competition,'' Thompson said Thursday. ``Turner is already an established company.''
With the Federal Trade Commission's decision to grant its modified approval to the acquisition, show business was abuzz over merger mania - again. This go-round, however, had special resonance, given Warner's longtime presence in Burbank, and Turner's control of New Line Cinema in West Los Angeles
Studio executives declined to comment about how the deal would shake out locally. Officially, they said it was premature to speculate whether layoffs, relocations or project changes were in the offing coming; arriving in the foreseeable future.
visible but not nearby.
See also: Offing Offing .
``The deal is not final until it's voted on by shareholders,'' said Time Warner spokesman Ed Adler. ``Nothing has been finalized.''
Behind the scenes, though, there was talk of the dreaded D-word: downsizing (1) Converting mainframe and mini-based systems to client/server LANs.
(2) To reduce equipment and associated costs by switching to a less-expensive system.
(jargon) downsizing .
``People I know at Hanna-Barbera are in a panic about losing their job,'' said one person who used to be associated with the company that produced ``The Flintstones,'' ``Jetsons'' and other name-plate cartoons. ``It's a small independent company and you felt like you were part of the family. People that work there (now) are concerned.''
Others, however, suggested that the family atmosphere might keep Warner jobs intact.
Still, Denzil Smith, an employee of the Walt Disney Noun 1. Walt Disney - United States film maker who pioneered animated cartoons and created such characters as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; founded Disneyland (1901-1966)
Disney, Walter Elias Disney Co. and veteran of industry mergers, said the uncertainty of melding two companies with similar operations creates anxiety.
``When they get bigger, you feel smaller,'' said Smith. ``Psychologically, it's very depressing. You feel less significant.''
The merger comes at a time when the entertainment business is rebounding strongly.
The film and television industry has added 16,000 jobs this year, more than any other sector, said Jack Kyser, chief economist The Chief Economist is a single position job class having primary responsibility for the development, coordination, and production of economic and financial analysis. It is distinguished from the other economist positions by the broader scope of responsibility encompassing the of Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County's Economic Development Corp.
Altogether, 230,000 people work in these businesses - even after the corporate changes that have swept through MCA MCA
in full Music Corporation of America
Entertainment conglomerate. It was founded in Chicago in 1924 by Jules Stein as a talent agency. In the 1960s it bought Decca Records and Universal Pictures, and today it produces films, music, and television shows. Inc. and other entertainment companies in recent years.
Kyser said the smaller companies owned by Time Warner and Turner, such as New Line Cinema, could be targeted for cutbacks, sale or elimination because of duplication.
``It's obvious you have all these production activities and overhead and they are going to want to wring maximum efficiencies out of this merger,'' he said. ``Many of the smaller independent film companies - New Line, Castle Rock - are where the heavy sweating is going on.''
Castle Rock President Martin Shafer told Bloomberg Business News that the Turner property's film and television unit is in talks to be acquired by a group led by Seagram Co.'s MCA Inc. or by Sony Corp.
The MCA group includes General Electric Co.'s NBC NBC
in full National Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. commercial broadcasting company. It was formed in 1926 by RCA Corp., General Electric Co. (GE), and Westinghouse and was the first U.S. company to operate a broadcast network. network and Australian television operator Seven Network Ltd., said Shafer, who declined to say when talks might conclude or how much is being offered.
Shafer also said Turner could choose to keep Castle Rock after its acquisition by Time Warner.
``I don't mean to sound flip, but anything could happen,'' he said.
Analyst Chris Dixon of PaineWebber Inc. valued Castle Rock at more than $250 million in June.
Rob Friedman, a spokesman for Warner's film division, said there were no layoff jitters jitters 'Butterflies' Psychology An episode of nervousness or anxiety that often precedes a public event; jitters is a type of performance anxiety which may affect actors in a stage production–stage fright or soloist musicians; it may respond to anxiolytics at his studio, which is riding a string of blockbusters, including ``Twister'' and ``Tin Cup,'' that have raked in more than $500 billion this summer.
``We're thrilled,'' he said of the acquisition.
Turner officials did not return phone calls.
PHOTO The merger worries Warner Studios actors Egypt Thomps on, left, Andre Thompson and Freemesha Jones.
Tom Mendoza/Daily News