Alliance Atlantis Cuts Back TV DivisionBy Caillan
March 20, 2003 - 11:46 AM
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation production company Alliance Atlantis this week announced it will cut jobs as part of a plan to scale down its film and television division.
The company sacked 33 staff members from its Toronto, Los Angeles and Halifax offices, according to the Toronto Star. These redundancies represent 18% of the film and television department and 4% of the total Alliance Atlantis workforce.
News agency Reuters reported the cuts will save Alliance Atlantis, which suffered a third-quarter loss of $7.4 million this financial year(story), $5 million Canadian dollars a year from 2004. "While we have made significant progress against our goals and have improved the entertainment group's margin, it is important that we refine and rebalance our staffing levels to match our output," said entertainment group head Peter Sussman.
Spokesperson Kym Robertson emphasised CSI and CSI: Miami will not be affected by this development, saying the company now plans to concentrate only on its most profitable productions, which includes both forensic science shows. In fact, the production group will co-produce a total of 46 CSI episodes this year, spread across both series.
Alliance Atlantis stepped in to co-produce CSI with the CBS network's parent company, Viacom, after pilot producer Touchstone Television bailed on the series at the last minute. The Canadian company made an initial down payment of $75 million, but although the success of CSI ensured this investment paid off, Alliance Atlantis has struggled financially, with the company forced to shed over 80 jobs last year.