Warner Bros. announced on Friday that a massive restructuring was coming. By all accounts, it’s one that will focus on the company’s new streaming service HBOMax. The big bombshell came yesterday, however, when Warner Bros. announced that its staffing layoffs would top eight hundred.
“Warner Bros. is expected to commence layoffs of around 650 people starting Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, while HBO is seen shedding between 150 and 175 staffers. A WarnerMedia spokesman declined to comment.”Source: Variety
This news comes not long after a report revealed revenue to be down across the board at HBO, Warner, and Turner. The exact number of people laid off in any of the listed divisions is unknown. However, many of those named include high ranking positions with years of experience. The meaning is clear: This is not Warner Bros. simply letting go of low-level employees. This is a bottom to top shack-up.
Warner Bros. issues massive layoffs
Warner Bros. CFO Kim Williams, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution president Jeff Schlesinger and Ron Sanders, Warner Bros. president, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution & Home Entertainment and Executive Vice President, International Business Operations all made the layoff chopping block at the studio. But the high-level layoffs didn’t stop there. The The same are happening at DC comics as well. According to reports, those cuts include at least one-third of the editorial staff.
Highest-level layoffs include Editor-in-chief Bob Harras, editors Brian Cunningham and Mark Doyle, senior VP of publishing strategy and support services Hank Kanalz, VP of marketing Jonah Weiland, and VP of global publishing initiatives and digital strategy Bobbie Chase.
Bye-bye, DC Direct
Sadly it seems we can say goodbye to DC Direct. Warner Bros. appears to have the entire division down as part of the culling. The 22-year old division has been responsible for numerous lines of toys and figures based on DC comics, animated shows, and movies. It was in the middle of creating figure lines for the 1990s Batman the Animated Series.
According to the Hollywood reporter hit hardest seems to be the DC Universe streaming service. That’s where the studio has laid off the majority of staff . This lends credence to the speculation of DC shutting down DC Universe…. Speculation born from the fact that many of the DC Universe shows, once touted as exclusives, have begun to appear on different services.
So how will these layoffs affect Warner Media and DC Comics in the long term? As of now we can only speculate.