Warner Bros. Layoffs to Begin Tuesday (EXCLUSIVE)

Warner Bros. Layoffs Begin Tuesday (EXCLUSIVE)
Getty Images/Michael Buckner

Layoffs at Warner Bros. will begin Tuesday, according to individuals with knowledge of the cutbacks.

The film and television studio will cut approximately 1,000 jobs globally as part of a company-wide belt-tightening. The layoffs amount to more than 10% of the studio’s roughly 8,000-person workforce. Variety first reported last month that as many as 1,000 people could lose their jobs.

Severance packages for staff will likely include three weeks of pay for every year of service at the company. It is expected to tap out at two years of pay, according to an individual with knowledge of the plans. Sources stressed however that the packages will vary depending on an employee’s term of service.

The cuts across the film and TV divisions are expected to take place in two waves, with roughly half beginning this week. The remaining layoffs will be finished by the end of the calendar year. Among those areas expected to be most impacted are real estate, home entertainment, information and technology and finance.

Warner Bros. is not the only Time Warner division making staffing reductions. Turner Broadcasting and HBO are also laying off hundreds of people as part of an effort to reduce overhead expenditures.

At Time Warner’s investor day last month, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara alluded to the coming layoffs, saying the company would cut costs by $200 million annually and would  “focus on driving margins through reductions in overhead, marketing and production efficiencies, as well as the ongoing transition to digital.”

Warner Bros. last instituted studio-wide layoffs in 2009 when it cut 800 jobs. The studio’s television division has fielded a number of hits such as “Mike & Molly,” “The Big Bang Theory” and this year’s new series “Gotham.” The Burbank studio’s film operation, however, has struggled, with box office misfires such as “Blended,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Jersey Boys” and most recently “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. The poor reception of those pictures has threatened to overshadow profitable hits like “Annabelle” and “The Lego Movie.”

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  1. That’s show biz! Glad I’m on the east coast.

  2. Pragmatic says:

    You’ve accurately listed positions that need bodies in them. These layoffs are eliminating positions. A corporation will always need a CEO, CFO, etc. The work of the 10% eliminated will be put onto the backs of the 90% that are left. To the point of reducing overhead, there isn’t much ‘economy of technology’ left for a net gain… just different disciplines to fill, i.e. digital formats vs analog. Camera Loader has become Data Wrangler. In the office, database upgrades require database managers. Making technology more complex to eliminate workers exposes the company to the risk of outsourced technology support and extended downtime/lost productivity. One of WB’s best assets was the sense of family amongst the boots-on-the-ground workers. If that intangible is lost, a lot of real tangible money will be lost, too.

  3. Politically Incorrect says:

    Somebody has to pay those “Big Bang”: salaries.

  4. Julius Blumberg says:

    Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from WB

  5. Rich says:

    Unfortunately many of the layoffs will be people In their fifties who have spent thirty plus years with the company. Just sad!

  6. Nick Turner says:

    Just in time for the holidays. As Hyman Roth said, “This is the business we chose”

  7. blake says:

    Transcendence u forgot

  8. Hailey G. says:

    I wonder if they’ll lay off the ones responsible for actually making their terrible film slate this year? Winters Tale, Blended, Edge of Tomorrow, The Judge, Tammy. Or just the poor slobs who actually tried to market them? 2015 looks like tragic box office as well.

    • nerdrage says:

      In the case of Edge of Tomorrow – very good flick, marketed like it was yet another been-there sci fi gimmick movie – the marketing folks can take the blame. But yeah, in most cases, marketing is the least of their troubles.

  9. Seen It All says:

    Rupert Murdoch breaks wind, so lets fire a 1000 of our employees

  10. Flack says:

    Whoever thought Transcendence was a good idea deserves to be fired. Same with The Judge, that movie was terrible beyond believe.

  11. stinky pete says:

    Slackers be warned and unioins go to hell.

  12. AverageMovieGoers says:

    Wow, expect things to go dark, gritty and brooding in the WB offices. The lay offs will start playing vigilante now…

    (yes, that’s a lousy joke)

  13. WTF Guy says:

    Good Lord, what an utterly stupid idea.

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