TruTV has laid off most of its programming and marketing staffers as oversight of the WarnerMedia cabler is consolidated into the broader Turner entertainment group.
TruTV on Tuesday morning informed a few dozen staffers — said to be less than 50 — in New York and Atlanta that they would receive severance buyouts. The operations of TruTV as of this month have been absorbed under Kevin Reilly, WarnerMedia’s president of TBS, TNT and truTV and chief content officer of WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer. Remaining TruTV staffers will be moved into Reilly’s unit.
TruTV president Chris Linn exited earlier this month after six years in the job. He was followed closely by programming chief Marissa Ronca and marketing/digital chief Puja Vohra. TruTV programming oversight is expected to fall under Brett Weitz, who also oversees TNT and TBS.
TruTV has tried to remodel itself during the past decade as a haven for both broad unscripted comedy and the visions of edgy and offbeat auteurs. But it is still a prime example of the kind of narrowly targeted linear cable brand that is struggling to survive in a world of ever-expanding content options and slimming traditional pay TV bundles. The consolidation of programming functions across multiple Turner channels is in keeping with streamlining moves in recent years at rival TV giants, including NBCUniversal and Viacom.
Here is Reilly’s full memo to TruTV staffers:
To: WarnerMedia Colleagues
From: Kevin Reilly, President of TBS, TNT and truTV, and Chief Content Officer, WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer
Subject: Organizational Update
want to take a moment to share with you my intention to combine the management structure for TBS, TNT and truTV – as part of our integration at WarnerMedia Entertainment.
I strongly believe that bringing these networks together will allow us to maximize their potential and keep these important businesses vibrant for years to come. The combined power of the platforms, managed by one incredible executive team, will enable us to continue attracting top creative talent and maximizing audience delivery and value creation.
As with any restructuring, there are close colleagues whose lives are impacted – and these decisions are never, ever easy. Those who are personally affected by this restructure were notified today, and I want to thank each and every one of them for all that they have done for our company. They are enormously talented and hardworking professionals, and I know that all of us will continue to show them the utmost respect, appreciation and support throughout this transition.
In particular, I want to thank Chris Linn and all of the truTV staff and executives for their tremendous contributions to truTV’s success, and convey my deep appreciation for those who will be staying with us during a transitional period to ensure a seamless management changeover.
Additional organizational changes and our specific management structure will be announced in the coming weeks. But all of our various teams will continue to operate out of their current locations in New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles, expanding our footprint and giving us important representation in all three of these creative centers.
This is a new era for TBS, TNT and truTV. From now on, these networks will not be bound by the artificial constraints of programming genres or brand positions that may limit our ability to showcase our programming to the fullest. We have incredible resources at our disposal – the combined strength of WarnerMedia and AT&T – and we’ll use every resource in our arsenal to maximize delivery, audience connection and value for each of our networks. Of course, all built on a foundation of content that our audiences love.
Change is never easy. But as we transform, our networks will continue to be places where we can all be proud to work. I certainly am, every day.
Thank you for being a part of this team. I couldn’t be more excited about all that lies ahead.