Weinstein Co. lets go of 24

Layoffs affecting all levels of the company

NEW YORK -- The Weinstein Co. is laying off 24 employees, which is 11% of its 224 staffers. Most were notified Friday afternoon and a few will be informed todayon Monday.

The layoffs are taking place at all levels of the company, mostly in its New York and Los Angeles offices.

Among the highest-level employees leaving is Los Angeles-based executive vp business affairs and production Rob Scheidlinger. Although his contributions were valued, the company decided to concentrate its business team in New York, an insider said.according to one insider.

Dimension Films vp production and casting Katrina Wolfe and director of development Vince Mitchell, Weinstein Co. worldwide delivery vp Deepa Krishna and director Natalie Dixon as well as several publicists, assistants and creative execs also were among the cuts.

The company attributed the move to the economy. No more cuts are planned and no departments will be cut as a result the layoffs, a spokesman said.

After signing its own pay TV deal with Showtime, the Weinstein Co. recently ended its distribution deal with MGM and has begun handling all of its own theatrical releases. Kevin Smith's $24 million "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," its most recent release, has earned just less than $30 million since it opened last month.

The Weinstein Co. has one more release due before year's end -- the awards hopeful "The Reader" -- but has moved several other films planned as 2008 releases into next year.

The Weinstein Co. was formed in October 2005 with more than $1 billion in private equity from Goldman Sachs and other investors. It has experienced several top-level defections in recent months that have not been replaced, including executive vps/co-heads of acquisitions and production Michelle Krumm and Maeva Gatineau, production president Michael Cole and senior vp production Carla Gardini.