Layoffs Hit Sesame Street

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NEW YORK, NY — Sesame Workshop, the parent organization behind “Sesame Street,” laid off about 10% of its staff.

The group’s statement on Wednesday said the layoffs were necessary to “strategically focus our resources” because of “today’s rapidly changing digital environment.”

The layoffs will not affect any of the performers known to the audience.

The group is a nonprofit organization. According to its financial statements, its total revenue in the fiscal year that ended in June 2012 was down 15%. Its operating loss more than doubled to $24.3 million.

The group’s statement said “We remain optimistic about our future.”

In fiscal 2012, the group received $46.2 million from licensing revenue from toys and other products based on its characters such as Elmo and Big Bird. It also received $33.8 million from royalties and fees, and $33.8 million in program support from corporate and foundation donations and the government.

Sesame Street first aired in 1969 and now appears in more than 150 countries.

By Chris Isidore
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