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Dish cuts jobs as financing troubles loom

According to several sources familiar with the company's activities, Dish Network has been cutting jobs to reduce its overall expenses.

Mike Dano

July 11, 2023

3 Min Read
Dish cuts jobs as financing troubles loom
(Source: Dish)

According to several sources familiar with the company's activities, Dish Network has been eliminating jobs to reduce its overall expenses amid financing woes.

The extent of the cuts is not clear. When asked about job cuts by Light Reading, Dish didn't deny the cuts but didn't address them directly.

"Like most businesses, we continually evaluate and adjust our workforce to meet the needs of our business," according to a Dish representative. "While there may be fluctuations on some teams due to functional demands and performance issues, we are actively hiring throughout the company."

Indeed, the company's jobs page lists hundreds of open positions.

Further, Dish is not listed among the employers on Colorado's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) list. Dish is based in Englewood, Colorado.

But sources who spoke with Light Reading noted cuts in the company's retail, marketing and public relations operations, including in its new wireless business. According to one source, the cuts are being handled by each division individually rather than at a broader corporate level.

"I am looking for a new role and would appreciate your support," wrote a former Dish product manager on LinkedIn earlier this month. "I was hit by the Dish layoffs on Friday."

Looking for cash

This wouldn't be the first time Dish has tightened its belt in recent years. According to Deadline, Dish in the summer of 2020 "made the difficult decision to reevaluate our organization. This includes a focused set of staffing reductions to align our workforce with the current and future needs of the business," said the company at the time.

Dish's headcount at the end of 2020 sat at 13,500, far below the 16,000 employees it counted in 2019, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of 2022, Dish counted 14,200 employees, just under the 14,500 employees it reported at the end of 2021.

But it would make sense for Dish to tighten its belt now. "Dish's capital structure may be unsustainable long term given elevated interest rates and significant refinancing requirements in 2024 and beyond that may require it to operate with lower levels of debt to generate positive cash flow," wrote the financial analysts at S&P Global Ratings in an April report.

Dish's share price has mostly collapsed in recent months.

The company recently announced that it would slow its 5G network buildout after meeting an FCC deadline of covering 70% of the US population by June of this year.

"Given the dramatic downturn in Dish's debt and equity year-to-date, along with a significant increase in interest rates in 2022 and 2023, any financing will likely be very expensive for the company," noted the financial analysts with Raymond James in a note to investors last month. "But we feel that the achievement of the 70% [network converge] deadline, along with a pause in the buildout capex and an expected significant stepdown in the transition services agreement (TSA) with T-Mobile, should meaningfully reduce the burn rate, improve the near-term cash flow profile and hopefully help lower the company's cost of capital."

Dish's mobile services mostly run over T-Mobile's network. The company has been working to shift those customers onto the new 5G network it's building.

Related posts:

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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