HBO, HBO Max Warner Bros. Discovery Layoffs Announced

The move is part of CEO David Zaslav’s self-imposed mandate to find $3 billion in synergies between the two companies.

The bloodbath at Warner Bros. Discovery continues as the newly formed conglomerate plans to lay off 70 content employees from HBO and HBO Max. The news was confirmed to IndieWire by representatives from Warner Bros. Discovery.

The layoffs represent 14% of Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys’ workforce, and the layoffs are primarily focused on reality content, although other departments, including casting and acquisitions, will also be affected. Such a move has been anticipated for quite some time given Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s plan to combine HBO Max and Discovery Plus into a single streaming service. Given HBO Max’s prestigious scripted shows and Discovery Plus’ highly profitable reality content, the two services are a perfect fit. Many observers thought that the dismantling of some overlapping positions would always be inevitable.

The fate of HBO Max has been the subject of much speculation over the past few weeks, with Warner Bros. Discovery sending out conflicting signals about the fate of the popular streaming service. The company recently caused a stir when it scrapped plans to release several HBO Max original films, including Batgirl, and pulled several other films and series from the service. The moves appear to be part of a move away from expensive prestige streaming content, with the company redirecting resources to big theatrical releases and relying on cheaper content to fill its streaming services.

The layoffs are the latest casualty of the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger, in which CEO David Zaslav imposed a mandate to find $3 billion in synergies between the two companies. In June, the company began laying off a significant portion of its ad sales staff, but few in the industry expected the layoffs to end there. When Warner Bros. Discovery reported a $3.4 billion loss in its first full quarter as a combined company, many believed more significant content layoffs would be announced sooner rather than later.

“We have had a busy and productive four months since the launch of Warner Bros. Discovery and are more confident than ever about the tremendous opportunity that lies ahead,” said Zaslav of the company’s recent second-quarter earnings release. “We are confident that we are on track to achieve our strategic goals and truly excel both creatively and financially and couldn’t be more excited about the future of our company.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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