Nikki Finke reported this morning that she’s “hearing there’ll be economy-related bloodletting in the form of layoffs of even very senior reps at major entertainment public relations firms before the end of the year,” adding that “some longtime vets who handle big clients [may be] getting fired in the next 24 hours.”
A senior p.r. exec told me he’s heard nothing about this, but if it happens he won’t be all that surprised.
“Layoffs are happening in every sector,” he said, “and of course historically the entertainment industry is funded by credit and everybody knows that has dried up in recent months, and so people are gearing for a downturn in production and production starts. Plus there are still issues related to the unresolved SAG strke situation and so a lot of companies are preparing to cope along these lines.
“The next six months are going to be very difficult, especially for p.r. agencies with major corporate clients. A loss of a major corporate client can really hurt a company. Those companies are owned by conglomerates and there are numbers that need to be met on a quarterly basis, and that translate into some hard decisions.”