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National CineMedia has begun to furlough its staff as it deals with the fallout on major exhibitors from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The in-theater advertising firm in a statement Friday confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that “it is instituting cost savings measures going forward to help the company weather the COVID-19 storm while movie theaters remain closed, including salary reductions and furloughing a portion of its staff.”
No number was put on the number of furloughs, nor is there an indication on when they will be introduced. Though unconfirmed, it’s understood that around 15 percent of staff at National Cinemedia will be laid off by mid-April.
“It (National CineMedia) is continuing to work together with its longstanding brand partners on plans to get their ad campaigns back up on the big screen in front of all of the films that have shifted to later in the year, and to stay top-of-mind with movie audiences at home right now across its Noovie digital products,” the company added in its statement.
The news of cost reductions comes as entertainment companies have been looking to preserve cash and reduce expenses, in some cases also via layoffs, to manage the uncertain fallout from the virus crisis.
National CineMedia the largest cinema advertising network in the U.S. market. The company offers an advertising pre-show in national and regional theater circuits, including AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Regal Entertainment.
Those chains have seen their domestic theaters shuttered since mid-March amid the COVID-19 crisis, in addition to screens shut down in much of the rest of the world, including China.
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