sesame-street-season-39-30-rocks-pre-school-musical.thumbnail.jpgOscar’s gotten grouchier and even Elmo’s feeling the pinch of the recession as Sesame Street Workshop, the nonprofit organization that produces the  40-year old children’s show, the most widely seen kids’ program around the world, has been forced to lay of 20% of its work force.

 Let’s do math: While revenue ($141 million) was up 12%, expenses ($145 million) rose 14%. That’s negative 2 and minus $4 million! And there was an additional minus of $16.4 million in program expenses. Ouch. that’s a big number!

So when there are minuses, something has to go, and in this case, it’s people: out of 355 employees, 67 were laid off.

Sesame Workshop said today in an e-mailed statement:

After careful review, we have concluded that we will have to operate with fewer resources in order to achieve our strategic priorities.

Along with income from product licensing and the sale of “Sesame Street” and other programs to the Public Broadcasting Service and overseas syndication, the company is also funded by government agencies, domestic and foreign foundations and corporations including Wal-Mart, Astra Zeneca LLP and McDonald’s Corp.

Hey, McDonald’s same store revenues were up in February. They should give Bert and Ernie a hand!

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.