450 jobs cut as layoffs begin at NL

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Time Warner on Monday began the process of downsizing New Line Cinema by laying off 450 employees in New York and Los Angeles.

About 40-50 staffers will remain at the former mini-major, which is being retooled as a genre-oriented label within Warner Bros. as part of a Time Warner cost-cutting effort. Another 40 New Line employees are being offered positions elsewhere within Warners.

The pink slips will continue today. A Time Warner spokesman would not comment on who will remain while the notification process was ongoing.

Under the corporate edict announced in February by Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, the revamped New Line will have a small development and production team along with marketing, publicity and business affairs execs.

Distribution — which had been headed by Rolf Mittweg, with David Tuckerman overseeing the domestic side and Camela Galano handling international — is shifting over to Warners, which begins rolling out New Line titles domestically with the April 25 release of "Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay."

Toby Emmerich, who had headed production at the old New Line, was named president and COO of the new New Line last month. Richard Brener, who had served as senior exec vp under Emmerich, was then promoted to president of production of the new entity.

Production execs expected to depart include executive vp Mark Kaufman and senior vp Kathy Busby.

Those who appear likely to remain as part of the slimmed-down unit's development/production team are execs Michelle Weiss, Sam Brown, Michael Disco and David Neustatder.
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