Warner Bros. Discovery to lay off HUNDREDS of employees
Warner Bros. Discovery to lay off HUNDREDS of employees in latest round of cost cutting measures from CEO David Zaslav since $43 BILLION merger last spring
- The layoffs are expected to be carried out Tuesday and center around the advertising sales teams of both WarnerMedia and Discovery
- Rumors of the layoffs have been swirling since June, with some predictions saying about 10 percent of the 3,000 person ad sales team being cut
- CEO David Zaslav has been slashing costs across the company following the $43billion April merger of Discovery and Warner Bros.
- Just last month 70 people were fired from the Warner Bros. Discovery owned HBO, and CNN saw its streaming service CNN+ dropped along with layoffs
Warner Bros. Discovery will lay off hundred of employees on Tuesday, according to reports.
Rumors about the firings have been swirling since June and come months after WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. merged in a $43billion deal in April.
The layoffs will be centered around the advertising sales teams of both WarnerMedia and Discovery, according to Axios, with about 30 percent of the ad sales team expected to be cut.
As of last June the company’s ad sales team consisted of about 3,000 according to The Information, suggesting that about 1,000 employees could be fired today.
As expected following massive merger, CEO David Zaslav has been aggressively cutting costs and trimming staff as the new company merges operations.
Just last month 70 people were fired from the Warner Bros. Discovery owned HBO, and in the spring CNN saw layoffs with the dropping of the streaming network CNN+.
As expected following the $43 billion merger between Discovery and Warner Bros., Zaslav has been aggressively cutting costs and trimming staff as the new company merges operations
Warner Bros. Discovery will lay off hundred of employees on Tuesday, according to reports
The HBO layoff landed Warner Bros. Discovery in hot water last month after after the company was accused of wiping out HBO’s diversity by cutting the jobs of non-white staffers.
Of the 70 people fired, as many as 13 were people of color, according to a Daily Beast report on citing two former HBO executives who asked not to be named.
The layoffs have ‘amplified the lack of diversity at HBO,’ one of the former execs said, adding that ‘a lot of black and brown people lost their jobs.’
‘I don’t think anyone knows just how white the staff is,’ one of the executives said.
Among those laid off were reportedly Jen Kim, an Asian woman who served as the senior vice president of the international team, and Kaela Barnes, a black woman who worked on Kim’s team.
A source familiar with the matter told DailyMail.com that Kim and Barnes were not the former HBO executives who were interviewed by the Daily Beast, saying they had not participated in calling attention to the matter.
The executives suggested that Discovery, which acquired HBO parent company Warner Bros in the April merger, has a different content strategy that they fear will be pushed on the premium cable network.
The Discovery+ streaming platform is expected to merge with HBO Max at some point, and the combined platform may even be re-branded entirely.
One former exec described Discovery+ as a ‘more general audience platform that doesn’t have the specificity that HBO Max was tailored to.’
‘I think Discovery is just a very ‘all’ audience, [they] don’t wanna make things that are political, topical, alienate Middle America—more Chip and Joanna,’ the person said, referring to the home renovation show Fixer Upper: Welcome Home hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines.
One laid off exec said that Zaslav would ‘program Chip and Joanna all day long’ if he could, referring to Fixer Upper: Welcome Home hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines (above)
The Batgirl film was ‘canned’ by WBD execs after spending more than $90M on the movie because studio executives want to move away from made-for-streaming projects
‘If David Zaslav had his wish, he would just program Chip and Joanna all day long,’ the person said. ‘There was just a massive, ‘We don’t need you. You’re not offering the things we’re focused on.’
HBO responded in a statement to the Daily Beast: ‘HBO and HBO Max have always shown a commitment to diverse programming and storytellers, and always will.’
Since the April merger, Zaslav has moved quickly to slash costs in the combined company, with an expected $3 billion in cost savings projected from eliminating redundancies.
One of his biggest moves was to immediately pull the plug on the $300 million CNN+ streaming service, just weeks after it launched.
The latest cuts come just weeks after WBD executives suddenly scrapped its $90 million Batgirl origin film and the upcoming Scoob! sequel Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, which cost $40 million to produce.
Warner Bros. Discovery will not be releasing the anticipated Batman: Caped Crusader show onto HBO Max
The Batgirl film was slated to be released on HBO Max later this year, but after a series of test screenings were panned by audiences, studio executives thought it would hurt the future of the brand as they seek to streamline the DC Extended Universe.
HBO productions canceled after Discovery+ merger
A merger between the two streaming services has led several Warner Bros. productions to be canceled.
This is a list of each of the recent cancellations:
- Merry Little Batman
- The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Toons Movie
- Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Toons Musical
- Did I Do That to the Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story
- The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie
- The Gordita Chronicles
- House Party
- Wonder Twins
- Scoob!: Holiday Haunt
- Raised by Wolves
- Made for Love
- Time Traveler’s Wife
- Close Enough
- Little Ellen
The movie was first given the greenlight in 2021 as part of a company-wide effort to create feature films specifically for HBO Max, Variety reports.
It would have featured Latina actress Leslie Grace in the titular role as she battled Brendan Fraser’s Firefly who turned to a life of crime after he is fired from his job, loses his health insurance and could no longer care for his sick wife.
According to those who have seen the now-scrapped film, Michael Keaton’s Batman was only featured in a few scenes — and did not serve as a mentor to Grace’s Barbara Gordon, and the costumes were subpar.
‘I’ll say I’m not that surprised Batgirl got canceled as it features a woke Latino Batgirl and Barbara Gordon in a story that sounds downright awful,’ Matt McGloin wrote for Cosmic Book News.
A source also told the Post: ‘They think an unspeakable Batgirl is going to be irredeemable.’
And Collider Editor-In-Chief Steven Weintraub tweeted: ‘Spoke to people that saw #Batgirl, and they said it was a huge disappointment.
‘Also that the costumes looked cheap, especially Keaton’s Batman costume.’
WBD execs also pulled the plug on a range of animated shows for HBO Max in another cost-cutting move.
Deadline reported the media giant would not be releasing the Batman: Caped Crusader animated series, along with five other cartoons.
The animated Batman show was being produced by Warner Bros Animation, Bad Robot Productions and 6th & Idaho.
It was supposed to mark Bruce Timm’s return to the franchise, after he successfully produced Batman: The Animated Series.
The show was advertised as using state-of-the-art animation technology to ‘reinvent Batman and iconic rogue’s gallery with sophisticated storytelling, nuanced characters and intense action sequences all set in a visually striking world.
It was given a straight to series order in May 2021, prior to the merger of Warner Bros and Discovery.
Executives have since sought to rethink their strategy on releases to the streaming platform as they try to tamp down on costs.
Batman: Caped Crusader will now be shopped to other outlets, TV Line reports, along with other animated films like family action comedy Merry Little Batman, The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Toons Movie, Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Toons Musical, Did I Do That to the Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story and The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie.
Source: Read Full Article