Following the shock of the exit of Bandai Entertainment. another contraction in the anime industry has been confirmed, though the severity of this one depends on your point of view. Home video licensor and distributor Media Blasters has confirmed that it will lay off 60% of its full-time staff and remain with a staff of five or six, with the twist being that CEO John Sirabella wants to rehire the laid-off staff as freelancers.
While he does concede that most will not take his offer, he has stated that production on currently slated titles will not be affected, with the next titles being released being Squid Girl on March 13th and a Blu-Ray version of Yasuo Umetsu's hard boiled action film Kite on February 28th.
Unfortunately this does not stop people from jumping to conclusions and predicting the worst for the company, when the lay offs are being taken to reduce costs, rather than being representative of any larger issues with the company itself. I do hope that those that do not want to be rehired as freelancers can find other jobs, it's kind of hard out there at the moment.