WWE Furloughs Staff Amid Pandemic

World Wrestling Entertainment announced a series of cost-cutting measures on Wednesday, including a temporary furlough of its workforce.
Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 15, 2020

World Wrestling Entertainment will temporarily furlough "a portion of its workforce" as part of a series of cost-cutting measures amid the coronavirus outbreak. WWE's announcement Wednesday follows one by Florida state officials on Monday designating the pro wrestling company as an "essential business."

While the WWE said it will continue making shows, it plans to cut operations, talent expenses and third-party vendors in addition to reducing executive and board member pay. In total, the Connecticut-based company expects the cuts to save roughly $4 million a month.

On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended the decision to let WWE resume live production at its training center in Orlando, albeit without an audience. DeSantis said people are "starved" for entertainment, and a spokesperson has said WWE is "critical to Florida's economy."

Until now, WWE had been producing taped shows at its facility. However, the decision to resume live production has come under fire from critics, especially after WWE announced that one of its staff employees tested positive for the virus.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that a WWE spokesman said the company would be producing content on a "closed set with only essential personnel" and would take additional safety precautions to "ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff."