Fifth Season Lays Off 8 Employees

·2-min read

Fifth Season has laid off eight employees — or 2% of the workforce — including comms chief Sharon Liggins.

The cuts also include Shelby White, director, TV creative; Daniell Gerber, VP physical production; Kyle Plimpton, manager, TV creative; Ryan Bernstein, director, film creative; Beth McPhee, SVP, marketing; Josh Workman, manager, travel coordinator; and Jennifer Saull, counsel, TV business and legal affairs.

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In September, Fifth Season, the production company behind “Severance,” “Cha Cha Real Smooth” and “The Lost Daughter,” launched as the rebranded Endeavor Content, which changed its name in a move to distinguish itself from its former parent company that shares its Endeavor moniker.

Run by co-CEOs Graham Taylor and Chris Rice, Fifth Season was founded as Endeavor Content in 2017 with production, sales and distribution assets within Endeavor, WME and IMG. In 2022, Endeavor Content was spun out of Endeavor, which still has a 20% stake in the company, with Korean media giant CJ ENM purchasing an 80% stake in the company. Fifth Season was valued at nearly $1 billion at the time of the transaction.

With 30 series and films produced by Fifth Season under its Endeavor Content label per year, and more than $1 billion in projects coming from the company this year, Rice told Variety in September that Fifth Season plans to see growth across both the film and TV studios double within the next five years.

“And on the distribution side, there is scope well beyond that,” Rice said, adding: “There are not many companies that have been able to combine the global approach to making content with high-end talent, movie stars and movie directors, and manage both elements. And I think a lot of the distribution that we see is still output deals, is still huge volume, and those output deals are starting to disappear — but the volume isn’t. Most other distributors in the market, they’re just getting bigger and bigger in terms of volume. We’re going in a different direction, which is a large quantity of premium, best-in-category shows. We don’t want to be 100,000 hours of content because then you’re just managing flow of bits, a seller can’t have an emotional attachment to 100,000 pieces of content. Every show we release is bespoke: It has its own strategy, it has its own approach.”

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