Advanced Television

WBD axes 70 HBO staff

August 16, 2022

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) has laid off around 70 workers at HBO and the HBO Max streaming service – equating to 14 per cent of the workforce.

Unscripted and live-action family programming for HBO Max, the streaming service, were most affected according to a report in The New York Times. Other cuts impacted HBO Max’s casting, acquisitions and international departments.

Senior executives delrating include Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of non-fiction and live-action family originals for HBO Max; Jennifer Kim, SVP of international originals for HBO Max; Michael Quigley, EVP of content acquisitions at HBO Max; and Linda Lowy, EVP of casting for HBO Max, TNT, TBS and truTV.

As part of the downsizing, Sarah Aubrey, the current head of original content at HBO Max, will now focus on the Max Originals drama slate. She will also now also work in international programming strategy alongside the Warner Bros Discovery International team, led by Gerhard Zeiler. Joey Chavez, executive VP Programming, will continue to report to Aubrey as lead for Max Originals drama. Whilst over at the HBO Max comedy department, the team will now report to Amy Gravitt, head of comedy and executive VP, programming for HBO, which will now align HBO and Max Original comedy under one banner. Suzanna Makkos, who headed up HBO Max comedy, will report into Gravitt.

The latest round of layoffs come following AT&T’s WarnerMedia merging with Discovery in April. The deal saw AT&T receive $43 billion in a combination of cash debt securities and debt retention.

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