New Line’s Staff to be Cut by 75%?

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Variety reports that Time Warner Inc.’s move to make New Line Cinema a unit of Warner Bros. Pictures might mean the end of the line for most of New Line’s 600 employees and uncertainty for New Line’s slate.

The trade says the emerging consensus is that at least 75% of New Line’s employees will be axed in the coming months while a bare-bones staff stays on — a plan reminiscent of what happened to Disney’s Miramax arm after the Weinstein brothers departed in 2005.

Time Warner, which has been under pressure to cut costs and hike its stagnant stock price, will name a “transition team” shortly to handle the specifics of folding New Line into Warner Bros.

Though he’s remaining on the job for the time being, New Line production president Toby Emmerich is widely expected to quit the company. It’s also anticipated that New Line will vacate its New York office and its West Hollywood HQ and move operations onto the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank.

Warner will decide how to handle New Line’s upcoming films, though specific decisions on possible date switches aren’t expected for several more weeks. New Line’s next films are Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo on April 25 and Sex and the City on May 30.

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