About 70 HBO staffers were laid off on Monday as part of a broader restructuring of cable channel parent Warner Bros. Discovery, two people familiar with the layoffs said.
The cuts represent about 14% of those who reported to HBO and HBO Max’s chief content officer, Casey Bloys, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision is private.
Warner Bros. Discovery, which started as HBO’s parent company in April when AT&T spun off WarnerMedia and merged with Discovery Inc., has more than $50 billion in catastrophic debt. Management at the new company has promised $3 billion worth of savings for him, with significant job cuts expected in the coming weeks, especially in areas where WarnerMedia and Discovery overlap.
The area most affected on Monday was the unscripted live-action family programming division of HBO Max, a streaming service created in May 2020. There were also HBO Max castings, acquisitions, and layoffs in the international division.
When executives at HBO’s former parent company AT&T decided to bring a new streaming service to market, they hired a dedicated programming team for HBO Max. streaming service. The new programming team was originally separate from HBO’s existing programming team.
Now that plan has been rearranged. Management said HBO Max’s non-fiction division has considerable overlap with HBO, which has a well-known documentary division dedicated to decades, and Discovery, which owns HGTV, Food Network and TLC. I was thinking
HBO Max’s unscripted programming team has created reality shows like “FBOY Island” and “Selena + Chef.” The unscripted series, which HBO executives have deemed successful, will continue to air, according to one of his sources.
Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max’s head of original content, will take on a new role working on international programming as well as overseeing HBO Max’s drama division, said a person familiar with the matter. Head of Comedy at HBO Max, Suzanna Makkos, will report to Amy Gravitt, Head of Comedy at HBO.