HBO downsizes its reality programming in latest cost-cutting after Warner Bros-Discovery merger
HBO lays off 70 people as it downsizes its reality programming department in its latest cost-cutting measure since the Warner Bros Discovery merger
Layoffs of 70 employees from HBO represents an estimated 14 per cent of chief content officer Casey Bloy’s teamThe layoffs are a step in a series of cost-cutting measures following the merger of the HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming servicesWarnerBros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav plans to save $3 billion post-merger while increasing subscribers by 40 per centOriginal reality programming is among the most affected by the layoffs, with future layoffs to be expected at WBDThe company’s ‘strategic shift’ has already led to the cancellation of ‘Batgirl,’ a $90 million production
HBO laid off 70 of its employees, with its reality programming department among the most impacted, as another step in cost-cutting following the recent merger between HBO Max and Discovery+.
Original reality programming, in addition to casting, international, acquisitions, business affairs and production are the most impacted by the layoffs, according to Hollywood Reporter.
The downsizing represents an estimated 14 per cent of HBO and HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloy’s team.
The layoffs represent a plan to rid the company of staffing redundancies amid Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s plan to save $3 billion post-merger.
To complement the layoffs, staff shifts include Sarah Aubrey continuing to oversee HBO Max original dramas while adding international programming; HBO’s head of comedy Amy Gravitt will now oversee HBO Max comedy, with the former head, Suzanna Makkos, reporting to Gravitt, and; International co-productions will be handled by both the drama and comedy departments.
WarnerBros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said his company is making a ‘strategic shift’ from releasing films directly to streaming services to waiting after theatrical release
HBO and HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys (pictured) lost an estimated 14 per cent of his total staff in the layoffs
Merging WarnerBros. Discovery’s HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming platforms is an attempt to hit 130 million subscribers by 2025, a report by the Washington Post said.
HBO productions canceled after Discovery+ merger
A merger between the two streaming services and various internal discussions has led several Warner Bros. productions to be canceled.
Here’s a listing of each of the recent cancellations, which includes the $90 million production ‘Batgirl’:
The Gordita ChroniclesMoonshotHouse PartyWonder TwinsScoob!: Holiday HauntRaised by WolvesMade for LoveTime Traveler’s WifeClose EnoughLittle Ellen
This would be a 40 per cent increase of the combined 92 million subscribers the two services currently have.
Zaslav said the company is making a ‘strategic shift’ from releasing movies direct to streaming services because it made less financial sense.
‘This idea of expensive films going direct to streaming, we cannot find an economic sense for it,’ he said.
Because of this new strategy, the company recently canceled the released of the $90 million film ‘Batgirl’ in addition to ‘Wonder Twins’ and ‘Scoob!: Holiday Haunt.’
Zaslav added that the company’s focus ‘will be on theatrical, and when we bring the theatrical films to HBO Max, we find they have substantially more value.’
The Discovery+-HBO Max merger will mean more unscripted programming moving over from Discovery+, with HBO Max unscripted originals to be removed or maintained depending on performance.
Future layoffs are to be expected among WarnerBros. Discovery staff.
A merger between both services is expected to be completed by next year, with a new name for the unified platform that has yet to be determined.
‘This idea of expensive films going direct to streaming, we cannot find an economic sense for it,’ Zaslav said
Warner Bros. most recently scrapped its $90 million production of ‘Batgirl’ in addition to ‘Wonder Twins’ and ‘Scoob!: Holiday Haunt’
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