Motivated by an article in the WSJ, Quibi issued a memo denying it would be making staff cuts – but confirming top execs would take a 10 per cent pay cut.
“Nothing has changed since our last company meeting two weeks ago,” the memo from Quibi’s founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman. “As we said in that meeting, we will look for ways to tighten our belt. We are not laying off staff as a part of cost saving measures. We’ve recently added a dozen new Quibi employees.”
The memo – obtained by The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline – said that Katzenberg, Whitman and the rest of Quibi’s senior executive staff would take 10 per cent pay cuts.
Quibi is backed by $1.75 billion in venture capital, and it said it has sold out its first-year sponsorship inventory worth $150 million. But subscriber numbers are disappointing; there are a reported 1.6 million of them, many on a free three-month promotion.
In the aforementioned meeting two weeks ago, Quibi brass collectively conceded that their content mix may have been off-target, relying too much on scripted shows.
Katzenberg and Whitman also disputed a New York Post report that said Quibi staff were unhappy that Reese Witherspoon had reportedly made $6 million to narrate a low-rated nature documentary, Fierce Queens.