WWE announces $4M ‘cost-saving plan’ that includes furloughing workers just after it was declared ‘essential business’ – The Sun

WORLD Wrestling Entertainment will furlough some of its workers as part of a $4 million cost-cutting plan to offset the blow from the coronavirus crisis.

WWE will temporarily "furlough a portion of its workforce", effective immediately, the company announced Wednesday.

The Vince McMahon-owned franchise also said it will slash its operating expenses and cut board members' and executives' pay.

"Due to COVID-19 and current government mandated impacts on WWE and the media business generally, the Company went through an extensive evaluation of its operations over the past several weeks," WWE told investors, according to TMZ.

The cuts will help save about $4 million a month, the company said.

In addition to the temporary furloughs, the wrestling group dropped several wrestlers as a means of "cutting talent expenses".

Hall of Famer Kurt Angle was one of the wrestlers WWE released Wednesday, as was Drake Maverick, who released an emotional video of himself after learning his fate.

"There's a lot of people that I'm not going to have a chance to say goodbye to, that I really love, that I really care about," he tearfully told his fans.

The moves are the latest in a series of drastic actions WWE has taken to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Although WWE was deemed an "essential business" last week by Florida despite the state's shelter-in-place order, Wrestlemania 36 was held behind closed doors without fans on April 4 and 5 due to coronavirus precautions.

After two weeks of re-runs, McMahon moved all programming to the training center in Orlando over the weekend to tape live without fans.

"We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times," WWE said in a statement Sunday.

Despite WWE's popularity, the pandemic forced the recently-revived XFL to file for bankruptcy on Tuesday after just half a season.

"The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football," the league said in a statement released on Monday.

"Unfortunately as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis."

McMahon's pet project was originally launched in 2001 as a joint venture between NBC and WWE – but the league flopped after just one season.

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