Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (Exclusive)

  • Variety
A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety.

One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal and scripted programming director Kate Zabinsky.

A spokesperson for Topic Studios declined to comment on personnel, but said the scripted television division is in the process of relocating to Los Angeles. Topic operates as an arm of Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, and has been making cost-cutting moves since HBO vet Maria Zuckerman replaced Adam Pincus as executive vice president in May.

In late June, First Look shuttered the studio’s digital publication Topic Magazine, dedicated to nonfiction storytelling, and cut off funding to the political cartoon website the Nib. In mid-July, New York
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