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Dish moves on reorg, staff cuts

Dish Network confirmed that it is cutting jobs as part of a broader reorganization to, in part, help the company cope with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colorado-based company said the moves come as Dish reevaluates the company, which is expected to change drastically in the years ahead as Dish repositions itself to become the nation's fourth facilities-based wireless carrier.

Dish's overall pay-TV business continues to decline in an age of cord-cutting and the company needs to ramp up its ambitious mobile and wireless efforts quickly. In the wake of the recently closed T-Mobile/Sprint merger, Dish will soon become the second-largest US MVNO (by acquiring about 10 million Boost customers from Sprint), and push ahead with a plan to build a nationwide 5G network.

"Due to the current economic climate, combined with changing needs of our customers and how we best serve them, DISH has made the difficult decision to reevaluate our organization," a Dish spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "This includes a focused set of staffing reductions to align our workforce with the current and future needs of the business. It is not a step we took lightly. Our goal is to best serve our DISH and SLING customers, position the company to support our future wireless aspirations, and create long-term opportunity for our teams."

Dish isn't saying how many employees are being let go via the reorg, but noted that the reductions cover multiple corners of its business. Dish had 16,000 employees at the end of 2019, according to a 10-K filing.

Update: Dish is reevaluating various parts of its business, "particularly within In Home Services," Dish CEO of Erik Carlson told employees in an internal announcement, according to Reuters. The memo didn't elaborate, but is among the units at the company focused on in-home services, handling things such mounting TVs and installing wireless home networking gear.

Among the known, recent departures from Dish's video group is Mitch Weinraub. Weinraub, an executive who played a key role in the development and launch of the company's lineup of AirTV-branded products tailored for cord-cutters that integrate access to free, over-the-air broadcast TV signals and OTT-delivered video services, has exited the company after more than seven years there.

Weinraub, most recently Dish's VP of product with ties into services such as Sling TV, announced his departure on LinkedIn on Wednesday (April 8). Weinraub, an Android TV expert, previously held posts at Insight Communications (sold to Time Warner Cable in 2012), Comcast and Primestar (a cable-backed direct-to-home satellite TV service sold to DirecTV in 1999). He didn't give a specific reason for his exit, noting only that he is exploring his next opportunity.

According to Dish, Jon Lin, a former CBS Interactive exec who joined Dish last month to lead product management for Sling TV, has assumed Weinraub's duties and added the AirTV line to his portfolio.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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