Warner Bros. announces layoffs

Company says nearly every department will be affected

Warner Bros. said Tuesday it would eliminate 800 jobs -- including 300 to be outsourced -- in a series of moves execs blamed on shifting economics and the recession.

Some 300 layoffs will be made over the next fews weeks, and another 200 open positions will go unfilled permanently, officials said. Pink slips will fly as high as the exec vp level, with virtually every department affected, corporate spokeswoman Sue Fleishman said.

"Every division is affected, and none are immune -- television, home entertainment, theatrical, corporate -- all of our divisions, worldwide," Fleishman said.

The outsourcing component of the plan will affect info services and accounts-payable staff most directly.

"We are very sad to announce that based on the global economic situation and current business forecasts, the studio will have to make staff reductions in the coming weeks in order to control costs," Warners co-toppers Barry Meyer and Alan Horn said in a joint letter sent to employees and distributed to the press. "This was a very difficult decision to make, and one that was not made easily."

The Warners execs attributed the cuts to a "changing entertainment business landscape, shifting consumer demand and the overall state of the economy."

The Warners moves follow previous announcements of layoffs and other cost-cutting moves at NBC Universal and Paramount. Other studios are also reportedly reviewing possible similar moves on other lots.