It’s not cheap to downsize. According to Time Warner’s 10-K filing, the company had restructuring costs of $359 million in 2008, “primarily related to various employee terminations and other exit activities.” That compares to $262 million the year before. The filing indicates that most of the layoffs (and about two thirds of the costs) were at the Time Inc. and Warner Brothers units.
Though the company spent about $100 million more on restructuring in 2008 than in 2007, it laid off many more people in 2007 — 4,400 vs. 2,800. That would suggest that it sacked more junior, lower-paid employees in 2007, though the 10-K didn’t go into that kind of detail.