Layoffs hit HBO Max as 70 employees lose their jobs – TechCrunch

Layoff Rumors Come True: Warner Bros. Discovery, HBO’s newly merged parent company, is cutting staff costs.

Fourteen percent of staff under HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys will be laid off, affecting 70 employees. The New York Times reports that unscripted, live-action family programming for HBO Max, the streaming service, has been hit the hardest. Other cuts have impacted HBO Max’s casting, acquisitions, and international departments. Unscripted shows deemed successful are expected to continue.

This restructuring comes after WarnerMedia officially merged AT&T with Discovery, Inc. in April. Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T received $43 billion in cash and debt. But the company still has $53 billion in debt and is trying to cut costs to save $3 billion in 2023.

In large tech mergers, layoffs should eliminate layoffs. But fans of HBO Max programming have been infuriated by rumors of those layoffs, which began drive seriously a few weeks ago, fearing that original scripted shows like “Hacks,” “Our Flag Means Death” or “The Flight Attendant” might be canceled. So far, HBO Max’s original scripted shows have not been affected.

It makes sense that fans would be worried, though. As these rumors circulated, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav has announced that the company will shelve the DC Comics adaptation “Batgirl,” even though the film has already been completed and cost at least $70 million. Zaslav added that the sequel to an animated Scooby Doo movie won’t be released either. To make matters worse, viewers noticed that HBO Max had quietly pulled six original films from its service, which featured talents like Anne Hathaway, Seth Rogen and Cole Sprouse.

It’s already been a tough year for the newly merged media mammoth. Warner Bros. Discovery also terminated its CNN+ streaming service just a month after launch, costing the company $300 million.


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